I know the sun is shining somewhere … but it sure ain’t here in my bit of the UK! It’s grey, it’s wet, it’s cold and disturbingly unseasonable. When it’s like this in June, I always get the feeling it could go on all summer long…chilly rainy days…
Mid-summer’s day is upon us.. Difficult to believe, but the days will be getting shorter again… ????
But that’s just about OK … for now … because I did beans. I do beans a lot.
As far as I’m concerned, a bowl of beans is food for the soul.
This one is a modest, no-fuss, no-nonsense bowl of beans West African style.
Not many ingredients … and no faff at all … but an explosion of rich spicy flavours all the same.
Black-eyed beans are a great little bean. They’re small, and have a nutty earthy flavour and they don’t go too soft… and they don’t need too long a soak…
Here’s a link to one of my beany blogs with tips on beans (click image)
Tinned beans are fine for this recipe, but I prefer to soak and cook my own.
WEST AFRICAN BLACK-EYED BEAN STEW
t.b.h. this may well serve 3-4 …particularly if served with rice
but 2 of us ate the lot (after a long wet day gardening)
- *250gms. dried black-eyed beans / or 450gms. tinned black-eyed beans
- *(1/2 an onion +1 large carrot + 2 tsp. vegetable stock if cooking your own beans)
- 500ml. tomato passata ( or 5-6 large fresh tomatoes, skinned and diced – so it amounts to about 500ml.)
- 50gms. tomato puree/paste
- 1 large onion ( about 200gms.)
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 6-7 cm. stick of fresh ginger
- 2 tsps. cumin seeds
- 3 tsps. paprika powder
- 0.5 tsp. black pepper corns
- 1 rounded tsp. salt
- 1 rounded tsp. harissa paste
- 200ml. water
- 3 spring onions (for garnish)
If using dried beans:
- Soak beans in water overnight.
- Strain and rinse beans.
- Place in a pan, with enough water to amply cover.
- Add 1 washed peeled carrot.
- Add 1/2 peeled onion.
- Add vegetable stock powder.
- Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 8 mins.
- Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender. approx: 60 mins.
- Remove carrot and onion and place in a small bowl and mash them.
- Strain beans and set aside.
If using tinned beans, open tins, strain and rinse beans
- Peel and chop 1 large onion.
- Peel and crush garlic cloves.
- Peel and finely grate ginger.
- Grind cumin seeds and black pepper corns.
- Mix ground cumin, ground black pepper, paprika and salt together.
- In a deep-sided pan, over a medium heat, add 2 tbs. olive oil.
- When hot, gently sauté chopped onions for 8 mins. to soften, and until golden.
- Add crushed garlic and grated ginger. Sauté for 1 min.
- Reduce heat and add spice mix. Sauté for 30 secs. Avoid burning the spices.
- Add tomato passata (or skinned diced fresh tomatoes).
- Add tomato paste/puree and harissa paste.
- Add mashed carrot and onion (from cooked beans). (Ignore this if using tinned beans).
- Add 200ml. water.
- Add beans.
- Stir to combine.
- Bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat, using a heat-diffuser if necessary, cover with a tight fitting lid, and simmer for 45-60 mins.
- Wash, trim and finely chop spring onions for the garnish.
- 10 mins. before serving, taste the stew and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- You may want to consider adding a dash of lemon juice and a scant tsp. of sweetener…. I didn’t but it might be nice?
- Serve piping hot.
Food for the soul that’s restorative, comforting, packed with flavour and brimming with goodness.
Aaahh… (that’s me sighing with relief 🙂 )