Beans With Tomato, Coriander and Coconut Milk

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“I got this from a special section on pulses by Nigel Slater in the Observer Magazine in January 2009. I like making a whole batch of it and having it throughout the week; I might be kidding myself, but it does seem to get better as the flavours infuse while it's in the fridge.”
1hr 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Having soaked the beans in cold water overnight, boil them until tender in deep, unsalted water. The choice of beans is up to you; I've tried it once with black-eyed beans and once with chickpeas, and it worked pretty well with both. Beans should be tender in about 30-40 minutes. Set the beans aside once cooked. If you are using canned beans, rinse them under cold running water.
  2. Peels the onions, cut them in half and slice them thinly. Add them to the oil in a large, deep pan and let them soften, colouring lightly, over a moderate heat. Peel, chop and add the garlic.
  3. Meanwhile, crack the cardamon seeds open and extract the seeds. Crush them coarsely using a pestle and mortar or a very heavy rolling pin, then stir them into the softening onions. Crush the coriander seeds and then the mustard and add them to the onions with the whole cumin seeds, ground turmeric, a generous seasoning of salt, and black pepper. Leave these as they cook, stirring regularly, for at least 5 minutes, so that the spices toast in the heat.
  4. Meanwhile, seed and finely chop the chillies and add, with the chopped tomatoes, 400ml of water and a pinch of sugar, followed by the cooked beans. Leave to simmer gently over a low heat, with the occasional stir, partially covered by a lid, for about 35-40 minutes. Mix the coconut milk into the sauce, simmer for a further 5 minutes, then add the coriander leaves and the juice of the limes.

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