Stewed red kidney beans, slow cooked and simmered in an array of aromatic spices with a side serving of vegan style mashed cassava.
When it comes to legumes I’m quite partial to cooking them stewed, don’t believe me than simply check out my Cuban black bean recipe or my Caribbean pigeon pea coconut curry . Those are just two examples of legumes that form part of a stew and I hope my lovely readers have tried at least one of those recipes by now.
Anyway, let’s talk about the recipe to hand, kidney beans, black beans and chickpeas are my favourite type of beans to use cook with. Growing up in an English speaking Caribbean household, we referred to kidneys beans as “peas”. A well known example of “peas” is the infamous “rice and peas”. While theoretically speaking “peas” are actually beans for some strange reason, the English speaking Caribbean islands would always refer to beans as peas.
To an outsider that probably doesn’t make sense, but to me I simply became used to the term and knew no different. Now that I have explained the local terminology, lets explore the recipe from another angle. As most of you know legumes are widely available in a dried or cooked and canned form.
While the dried kidney beans are cheaper especially when brought in bulk, canned beans are so much more convenient to work with especially if you lead a busy, on the go type of lifestyle or simply don’t like the idea of spending hours in the kitchen.
I could easily spend my entire life in the kitchen, hence being a food blogger but I know most people don’t share the sentiment and so that’s why I used canned kidney beans rather than the dried ones which need to be soaked overnight and boiled (too long).
You will be amazed at how quickly this stewed beans recipe comes together and just how incredibly flavoursome this dish is. I used an array of herbs of spices that compliment one another – garlic, onions, scotch bonnet, bay leaf, black pepper, parsley, cumin, oregano and ginger.
You will need the water from the can of kidney beans, don’t throw it away as this will form part of the liquid content that is needed for the stew. Try to purchase beans that are low or contain no sodium at all, as the salt used in the cooked kidneys beans is refined and not healthy.
For the cassava mash I used some frozen pieces that came in handy from Tescos. If you’re a reader from the United States, you can purchase frozen cassava known as yuca by the Latino community from a Latin American grocery store. I highly recommend buying the frozen version as the skin of cassava is quite difficult to peel and not to mention time consuming.
This recipe is freezer friendly so any left overs can be frozen and eaten at your leisure 😉
- 1 can of red kidney beans
- 1 bell pepper, sliced and deseeded
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 scallion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp cumin
- 1 scotch bonnet
- 1½ cup of water mixed with 2 tsp tapioca starch
- himilayan pink salt according to taste
- **Coconut oil
- To make the cassava mash
- 1kg bag of frozen cassava
- 1 tbsp of garlic granules
- ⅓ cup of coconut milk
- a knob of dairy free butter
- Proceed to melt 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion, scallion and garlic on low heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Once the onions and garlic have softened and turned translucent, add the bell peppers and cook until they begin to soften.
- Add the herbs and spices to the sauteed ingredients - parsley, cumin, oregano, ginger, black pepper and the bayleaf. Ensure to coat and combine everything together.
- Carefully add the scotch bonnet (whole) to the saucepan, remember the membrane contains the heat so be careful but to burst it, we only want the flavour not heat.
- Pour the watery kidney beans along with the additional cups of water into the pan and bring to the boil.
- Adjust the pan for salt levels, accordingly to taste
- Use the back of a fork to mash some of the beans as this will help to form a lovely thick stew.
- Cover the pan with the lid, reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. During this time the liquid will thicken and reduce.
- To make the cassava mash, bring the cassava to the boil in a large pot of water and simmer for 10-15 minutes, the cassava should be soft and easy to prick with a fork
- Drain the excess water and use a potato masher to break down the cassava pieces.
- Slowly pour and mix the coconut milk into the cassava while mashing it.
- Once the cassava has turned to a smooth mash, mix in the garlic and butter.
- Serve with the stewed beans - discard the scotch bonnet and bay leaf