Friday, April 8, 2011

Jamaican Kidney Bean Stew

This has to be our all-time favourite kidney bean recipe. When the wonderful aroma of this stew wafts around the house, my family gets the urge for ‘taste tests’ each time they walk past the pot even while it’s still cooking! I should say that I use more coconut milk than the recipe advises. Both versions are listed below, so enjoy either way of making this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook, called ‘Red Kidney Beans for Jamaican Peas and Rice’.

What you’ll need:
* 1 ½ cups dried red kidney beans
* 2 cups canned coconut milk (I used 2x 400ml coconut cream. The generic Homebrand is the best for those living in Australia)
* 1 Scotch bonnet or other habanero-type chilli (used a chilli that my dad’s friend Uncle Impa grows in his backyard in Geelong). Leave the chilli whole if you don’t like ‘hot’
* 4 tablespoons chopped chives or 6 tablespoons scallions (aka spring onions/green onions which is what I used), finely slice both green and white parts
* 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs or ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
* 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 1 small onion, finely chopped (used a red onion)
* ¾ teaspoon ground allspice
* 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons salt
* Freshly ground black pepper

Uncle Impa's chilli.
 What to do:
Soak beans overnight. Drain.
Then cook beans in 1x 400ml coconut cream mixed with 2 cans of water. (In the cookbook, the beans have to be cooked in 4 cups water). Either way, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Then add the second 400ml coconut cream, habanero, chives/spring onions, thyme, garlic, onion and allspice. Stir and simmer for half an hour. Add salt and pepper, simmer for another half hour or until beans are tender. Serve with rice.  

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