African Black Eyed Beans

African Black Eyed Beans (no the beans aren't from Africa, just the recipe πŸ˜‰

Last night I tried Lois’ African Black Eyed Beans. 1I did not mean to do two of Lois’ recipes in a row, but that’s what I had in the storecupboard πŸ™‚ Barbara was just back from Tauranga and I had them ready with rice, Barbara did not know it was a competition recipe but said the beans were delicious without prompting πŸ™‚ I adapted the recipe for Repentant Carnivores (rather than Vegans) by cutting the fat, especially the bad fat in the coconut cream, halving this works fine and still tastes deliciously different.

  • 1Β½ cups black-eyed beans. Start these cooking for 30 – 45 minutes.

Make the sauce with:

  • 2 chopped onions SautΓ©d in a little oil until they’re softish.
  • 1 small can tomato paste (or chopped tomatoes but then you will need to “reduce” 2That is boil to remove some of the water. the sauce a bit).
  • Β½ can coconut cream
  • 2 tsp paprika 3I used smoked, it adds a nice depth to the warmth – as I also used less chili.
  • Β½ tsp (or more or less) chili powder
  • Β½ tsp cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Stir together till combined, if necessary reduce to thicken, but if you keep the beans warm in the sauce before serving it will thicken up a bit then.

When the beans are cooked, drain and mix the sauce into them.

Serve with rice. This is would serves 4 as a main meal. 4Lois or Alison reckoned 4-6 but the 6 would all need small appetites or to eat desert as well πŸ˜‰

Lois gave credit to Alison Holst, the beans taste interesting and different as most Westerners are not used to the coconut and bean combination, which worked very well. Once again the recipe risks looking plain, I think (in the Capsicum season at least) some thin Jullienne strips of green Capsicum might lift it… I am sure this dish, especially if it was enhanced by some appropriate (or better still inappropriate) story about the African origin of the recipe, would go down a treat with most children – though definitely reduce the chili (like I did) in that case.

Like the previous two entries I’ve tested this is likely to stay on my regular list, so far it is going to be hard to choose who gets the prize πŸ˜‰

Notes   [ + ]

1. I did not mean to do two of Lois’ recipes in a row, but that’s what I had in the storecupboard πŸ™‚
2. That is boil to remove some of the water.
3. I used smoked, it adds a nice depth to the warmth – as I also used less chili.
4. Lois or Alison reckoned 4-6 but the 6 would all need small appetites or to eat desert as well πŸ˜‰

4 thoughts on “African Black Eyed Beans”

  1. This is one of my favourite things πŸ™‚

    We often put sliced mushrooms into the sauce – economical as mushrooms are practically always in season, very yummy and add a nice texture πŸ™‚

    When I lived in the US I flatted with a Kenyan (a fellow international student). I was highly amused (and surprised!) the first time I made this for her. She said – “this is just like what we always had at boarding school!” – without knowing the name of the dish or anything. ‘What we had at boarding school’ appeared to be a compliment, and she always ate it with relish. Although they cooked their beans out of doors, all day, on a charcoal burner: they beans took long cooking, and so would have been too expensive cooked indoors with gas.

    I was interested to learn from her how much Indian influence there was in Kenyan cooking, too, although I don’t think that this is part of that. Whenever we had visitors we always cooked together, regardless of ‘whose’ visitors they were, but a meal for ‘her’ visitors always included chapatis, and she told delightful stories of the women gathering hours before a wedding and making chapatis together and gossiping. Chapatis seemed to be an essential part of every festive occasion.

    –Heather πŸ™‚

    PS My cashew/carrot soup recipe and this recipe both come from an excellent RC cookbook – Alison Holst’s ‘Meals without Meat’, which I highly recommend and which you can almost always pick up on TradeMe for about $10.

  2. I ate this regularly living with Lois and made it myself for the first time last night. Delicious!

    Lois uses heaps less coconut cream, too, I think, Tim. I used coconut milk instead which was fine, and also used honey instead of sugar. I tend to cook with a chickpeas an awful lot cos they’re great and easy, so it’s very good to have different beans in my head for easy dinners, especially such pretty ones that don’t need prior soaking.

    This is a winner!

    Heather, loved your comments about Kenya!

  3. Heather’s Kenya comment reminds me I must post the recipe for Beans in Mwambe Sauce a delicious African alternative to Satay that works speciallly well with most sorts of beans.

    Thalia, most sorts of bean can be cooked with no soaking if either (a) you cook them longer or (b) you have and use a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are great for beans as the higher temperature also fixes the nasties that some beans (especially red ones) have which mean they should be boiled at a proper boil rather than just simmered.

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