Black-Eyed Beans with Mushrooms
This is high on my list of favourite vegetarian recipes, basically it is another gem from Madhur Jaffrey's 'A Taste of India' but I have adapted the recipe slightly. Fresh coriander makes a tremendous difference to the flavour. If you have any space buy a packet of seeds, it is really easy to grow and you'll soon become addicted.
Beans are an almost perfect food, they are high in protein and fibre and they don't contain a scrap of fat or dreaded cholesterol. They are also cheap and highly versatile, they can however be deadly dull but livened up with fresh herbs and spices the possibilities are endless.
8oz (225g/1 generous cup) dried black-eyed beans
8oz (225g) fresh mushrooms
6 tablespoons (8 American tablespoons) sunflower oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 inch (2.5cm) piece of cinnamon stick
5 ozs (150g/1 cup) onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely chopped
14 ozs (400g) fresh or tinned tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
pinch of sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 good teaspoon salt, (it needs it so don't cut down)
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons (4 American tablespoons) chopped fresh coriander (fresh parsley may be substituted though the flavour is not at all the same)
Soak the beans in plenty of cold water overnight. Next day cover with fresh water, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes approx. or until just cooked.
Cut the mushrooms into one-eight inch (3mm) thick slices. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium-high flame. When hot, put in the whole cumin seeds and the cinnamon stick. Let them sizzle for 5-6 seconds. Now put in the onions and garlic. Stir and fry until the onion is just beginning to colour at the edges. Put in the mushrooms. Stir and fry until the mushrooms wilt. Now put in the tomatoes, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, pinch of sugar and cayenne. Stir and cook for a minute. Cover, and let this mixture cook on a gentle heat in its own juices for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat under the sauté pan. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid, and add to the mushroom base mixture, add salt and freshly ground pepper, 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander and 1/4 pint (150ml/generous 1/2 cup) of bean cooking liquid.
Bring the beans to the boil again. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) of fresh coriander.
Black-Eyed Bean Soup
Black-Eyed Bean Stew (see recipe)
1.2 – 1.8 litres (2-3 pints/5 – 7 1/2 cups) homemade Chicken Stock (see recipe)
extra virgin olive oil
fresh coriander leaves
Add the chicken stock to the finished stew, bring to the boil. Taste and correct seasoning – serve in deep bowls. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and top with some fresh coriander leaves.