Friday, 24 September 2010

sheer beanius! part 1: yer basic black beans

It is fall. Truth be told, Edinburgh has only two seasons: days getting longer, and days getting shorter. We are now officially in the "days getting shorter" one. Which means beans. Lots and lots of warm, comforty beans. Now, I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite legume. I love chickpeas. Mung beans are the cutest legume ever. And black beans are just so creamy and dramatic. I cook a lot of beans, in a lot of ways, but I have a few favorite things that I come back to over and over: ginger tomato dal, chana masala, white beans and seaweed.... and cuminiferous black beans, which is what I've done here. It's really simple, and much better the next day as leftovers. This is my standard thing to do to black beans, and the key is to use truly outrageous amounts of ginger and cumin, and to pre-toast the cumin and coriander, then grind them.

caramelize 3 chopped purple onions, crank up the heat, deglaze with a bit of red wine or veg broth, drop the heat again, then add:
3-4 tbs chopped ginger
2 tbs (heaping) cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tbs coriander seeds, toasted and ground
lots of ancho chili powder
pinch cinnamon
tsp oregano
bit of freshly ground black pepper
1 carrot, chopped (optional, and I left it out this time because I ate these beans with roasted pumpkin)

let that cook together for a bit, then add
3-4 c black beans with some of their cooking liquid (depending how liquidy you want this)
kernels from 1 ear of corn (or use frozen)
salt to taste
1 tbs cocoa powder

cook that down for a bit, then douse it with lime juice and serve it with piles of cilantro. I had it on baked pumpkin (japanese pumpkin. the pointy orange ones). I also had baked kale that I used smoked chili for, otherwise, I might have added a bit of smoked paprika to the beans.

I usually cook my own beans from dried, but canned will work just fine so long as you rinse them. In that case, you'll need to add water instead of the bean cooking liquid.

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