All About Beans, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

West African Black-Eyed Bean Stew.

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.



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.

That’s it.

Food for the soul that’s restorative, comforting, packed with flavour and brimming with goodness.




Aaahh… (that’s me sighing with relief 🙂 )








2 thoughts on “West African Black-Eyed Bean Stew.”

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