Seasonal recipe No 22 – Black-eyed beans with mushrooms

Another excellent recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery. She says: “I like this bean dish so much, I often find myself eating it up with a spoon, all by itself.”  Serve on its own with naan bread and a salad or as a side dish. It does take a bit of time to make but it re-heats very well.

Serves 6

Preparation time: 1 hour 10 minutes (includes 1 hour soaking time)
Cooking time: 1 hour

225g dried black-eyed beans, washed and drained
1.15 litres water
225g mushrooms
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
2.5cm stick of cinnamon
150g onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
400g tinned tomatoes
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp chopped coriander or parsley


Put the beans and water into a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the  pot sit, covered and undisturbed, for 1 hour.

While the pot is resting, cut the mushrooms through their stems into 3mm thick slices. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium flame. When hot, put in the whole cumin seeds and the cinnamon stick. Let the sizzle for 5-6 seconds. Now put in the onions and garlic. Stir and fry until the onioin pieces turn brown at the edges. Put in the mushrooms. Stir and fry until the mushrooms wilt. Now add the tomatoes and ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Stir and cook for a minute. Cover, turn heat to low and let the mixture cook in its own juices for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat under the pan.

Bring the beans to the boil again. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the beans are tender. To this bean and water mixture, add the mushroom mixture, salt, black pepper and fresh coriander/parsley. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, on medium-low heat for another 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick before serving.

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