Red beans in tomato & Cilantro-lime rice

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I think the category of ‘bean and rice’ would encompass almost 90% of the meals that I cook and I do not complain at all. Rather, I rejoice it and am thankful for the pantry full of different beans and pulses. All it takes is some overnight soaking, which is hardly labor-intensive. If you forget that, you can always go for split lentils and pulses. Having a pressure cooker further reduces the cooking time. So no wonder that I keep making it. Plus, there is such a diversity of flavor profiles across different cooking cultures. For example, same staples that I used this time for a Mexican bean-rice bowl, can be used for making Indian rajma-chawal. You just need to pick the flavor of the day, and then choose the spices and condiments accordingly. So today, we go South…

RED BEANS IN TOMATO & CILANTRO-LIME RICE

Ingredients:

For red beans in tomato:

1 cup dried red/ kidney beans
3-4 tomatoes
1 onion
1-2 teaspoons of chili powder
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon cumin powder
2 tablespoon of crushed dried oregano herb
Salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons oil
Water

For cilantro-lime rice:

1 cup rice
1-2 cloves of garlic
2-4 green chili peppers (depends on your liking)
Bunch of cilantro
Lime juice to taste
Salt to taste

Method:

For read beans in tomato:

  1. Wash and soak the beans overnight.
  2. Cook the beans with enough water till beans are cooked tender, but not mushy. The water in which beans are cooked can be later used as the stock in this prep. So save it 🙂
  3. In pot, heat oil, and fry chopped garlic till fragrant.
  4. Add thinly chopped onion to it and sauté till it turns translucent.
  5. Add cumin powder and chili powder to the onion. Sauté for a minute and two and add cooked beans and mix properly.
  6. Make a puree of tomatoes and add it to the beans pot along with salt and oregano.
  7. Once the tomatoes loose their raw flavor, you can add the beans stock that we had save earlier and some more water, based on the desired consistency.
  8. Let the beans simmer on low-medium heat for 5-10 more minutes and then take off the stove.

For cilantro-lime rice:

  1. Wash and cook rice per instruction.
  2. Thinly chop green chili peppers and garlic cloves. Further grind them to coarse consistency in mortar and pestle, with some salt, lime juice, and half of cilantro.
  3. Mix this paste with cooked rice.
  4. Adjust salt and lime juice to your liking and serve with adding some more chopped cilantro.

Take in a bowl and dig in 🙂

 

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Mushroom Coconut Rice with Mint

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Mushroom cooked in coconut milk is one of my favorite food combinations. Coconut milk imparts perfect creaminess without overpowering their natural flavor. Mix in some cooked rice to that and you have a comforting lunch bowl. Over the years, I have cooked number of variations of this combination. Most often, I prepare it just with a tempering of whole garam masala (with spices such as clove, bay leaves, star anise) and red chili pepper. Today, however, I made some more tweaks to the recipe, using fresh and frozen supplies from our fridge.

MUSHROOM COCONUT RICE WITH MINT

Ingredients:

1 cup rice
10-12 Baby Bella mushrooms
1 cup grated fresh coconut (I used frozen)
Handful of mint leaves
1 cup of fajita veggie mix/ half a onion and some chopped bell peppers
1 inch ginger
3-4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoon oil (I used coconut oil)
Salt to taste.

For garnish: chopped scallions and nooch i.e. nutritional yeast (optional)

Method:

  1. Cook rice as per directions.
  2. Grind shredded coconut, mint leaves, ginger, and garlic with some water to form a paste.
  3. In a pan, heat oil. Sauté chopped onion and bell peppers, till onion changes color.
  4. Add chopped mushrooms to it. Season with salt. Stir fry for two more minutes. Mushrooms will start cooking in its own water that is released due to salt.
  5. Add the coconut-mint paste to the pan and sauté till it loses its raw smell.
  6. Take off the heat and mix with cooked rice.
  7. Add garnish of your choice. I used chopped scallions and nooch flakes.

The result is as creamy as its master recipe. Plus, mint adds a pleasant aroma and color.

Guacamole Black Bean Pasta

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Am I a fussy eater? Goodness, I can almost see my entire family here, nodding in affirmation of said doubt… But no, today is not the day when I agree to that. Although, black bean spaghetti has made me wonder about it. Unlike buckwheat or rice noodles, I did not warm up to black bean noodles immediately. First few of my stir-fry attempts with it always seemed to miss something. As a result, its box soon slipped into an overlooked corner of my pantry.

The other day however, after a long overseas call, I realized that I had only about 20 minutes to fix a lunch. As fate would have it, I was out of my usual favorite flat noodles. So, I decided to try black bean noodles once again. For a moment, I froze… but then found two perfectly ripened avocados in my fridge. I thought to go for a noddle salad using those. If black bean and avocados wouldn’t go together, the world would just make a little less sense. This ought to work…

It did. So much so, that by the time it occurred to me to take a snap for this blog post, I was almost halfway through my bowl. Here is what I now fondly call as Guacamole Black Bean Pasta.

GUACAMOLE BLACK BEAN PASTA

Serves two

Ingredients:

2 portions of black bean spaghetti (about 4 cups)
2 ripe avocados
1 small onion, or better, 3-4 sprigs of spring onion
1 medium tomato
Lemon juice and salt to taste
3 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 green chili peppers

Method:

  1. Cook black bean noodles per instruction. Drain and keep aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat olive oil and fry thinly chopped garlic and green chili peppers in it till fragrant. Remove from heat. Pour over cooked noodles and mix.
  3. In a bowl, mash avocado flesh to pulp. Add chopped tomato and onion. Season with salt and lemon juice.
  4. Mix this guacamole with tempered noodles.
  5. That’s it. Serve and Tuck in.

You can also mash raw garlic and chillis with guacamole, if you like. But I just thought that using a tempering to season black bean noodles would add that perk 🙂