Monday, July 13, 2009

Cooking on a Budget: Nigerian Kidney Bean Stew

Here's another dish I wrote about earlier, back in 2006. Every time I make it I promise myself I will make it more often. The peanut butter makes it creamy and gives it a rich, earthy flavor. The tomato, green pepper and onion mixture both adds texture and fills out the flavor with a hint of tartness to offset the slight sweetness of the peanut butter.

As I said in my earlier post, I am not a big fan of kidney beans. They have a musty aftertaste to me that, while subtle, cannot be ignored. That mustiness disappears completely in Nigerian Kidney Bean Stew. It is delicious served over brown rice, or all by itself.

It also travels well, so is excellent for workday lunch.

The organic all-natural peanut butter I use makes this a little more expensive than it could be, but there is such a small amount in there that I can still use it with a clear conscience.

Total Cost: $8.33
Cost per Serving: $1.67
Home Cookin Chapter: Soups and Stews

NIGERIAN KIDNEY BEAN STEW WITH PEANUT SAUCE
Makes 5 Servings

1-1/2 cups dried red kidney or pinto beans, or 2 15-oz. cans organic, undrained
salt to taste
2 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 large green pepper, chopped into small dice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 c canned tomato sauce, or 4 oz. tomato paste plus 1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar
1-1/2 Tbsp smooth peanut butter

Soak and cook beans; do not drain. Add salt, stir to mix, and leave in cooking liquid. If using canned beans, place in 3-quart saucepan, add salt, and heat under a low flame while you are cooking the vegetables. If you are using canned beans, empty the beans and their liquid* into a 3-quart saucepan, add salt, and heat under a low flame while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Put the oil in a large skillet and set over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and pepper. Cook just until the onion has turned translucent, turning the heat down as needed. Add cumin and stir once.

Add the tomato sauce (or tomato paste with 1/2 cup water), cayenne, lemon juice, and another 1/2 cup of water. Stir and bring to simmer. Turn heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 mins.

Add the peanut butter to the heated beans and stir until it has been mixed in thoroughly. Pour the tomato mixture into the pot of beans. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat down to low, and simmer gently for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Serve hot over brown rice, or with a loaf of crusty whole wheat bread.

*If you are using canned, conventional wisdom indicates to be sure to use an organic brand where beans and sea salt are the only ingredients. This is important any time you want to use the liquid that comes with the beans; conventional brands have a higher sodium content and often contain other unwanted ingredients.

adapted from
Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, by Madhur Jaffrey (Clarkson Potter, 1999).

Exported from Home Cookin 5.7 (www.mountain-software.com)

2 comments:

Unknown said...

I love the flavors and ingredients used in this stew, this one definitely is a must try !

dejamo said...

I think you will be pleased with it, Usha. I make it frequently now - it's quick and easy, and truly delicious.

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