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Beggar’s Black Bean Stew (Vegan)

September 2, 2012

Poor Yesh had to work on Saturday, and being a tired wee thing, I thought she deserved a clean house and a good hot meal waiting for her on her return. Alas, when I looked in the fridge it resembled nothing so much as Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard … but I channelled my mother (who can make a meal out of half a lemon and 100g of dust) and peered into the depths of the tin cupboard. We have lots of tins. Trusting to Fortune, I reached to the far depths and plucked one from random, and saw that it was Good. It was black beans. I’m a big fan, so I stripped the poverty-stricken fridge bare of its half an aubergine and some beetroot – and we ate well. Oh yes. We ate well. So here’s the recipe for a black bean stew I call Beggar’s because it used all the leftovers in the house. Luckily, lovely Yesh braved the supermarket on her way home so we’re well stocked again.

Not mine! Copyright Three Cookies Blog.


400g tinned black beans

140g rice

4 cloves garlic (I used 3, and it wasn’t enough)

1/2 aubergine

2 small beetroot, raw

1/2 white onion

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 veg stock cube dissolved in 1ooml(ish) water

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp Ras el Hanout

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp hot chilli powder

1/2 tsp coriander

salt & black pepper, to taste


  1. Thickly slice the aubergine and halve the beetroot. Dab oil and salt on the surface of the veg. Roast at 180˚C until soft
  2. Add the oil to a saucepan and heat on a moderately high heat
  3. Peel and crush the garlic cloves and peel and chop the onion.
  4. Add garlic, onion and spices to the oil. Heat until the onion is soft and well coated in seasoning.
  5. Add beans, in their liquid and stir, simmering
  6. Chop the beetroot and aubergine, then add to the bean mix
  7. Pour in the stock
  8. Stir in the tomato paste, and simmer on a low heat as you cook the rice
  9. Adjust seasoning to taste
  10. Serve over rice, and munch.

This was a good, warm and hearty meal, but when I made it I thought it could have done with a little more flavour. A tablespoon of soy sauce was a good accompaniment, but you could also try a couple of inches of coffee, some paprika, or whatever takes your fancy. It certainly went down well. It serves 2 easily, so double all portions for 4-6 servings. The vegetables could be easily substituted for your own choice, as well, but the beetroot did give it a lovely sweet, earthy flavour, as well as a rich dark colour, which was easy on the eye. All in all, I’d definitely make it again, but next time really experiment with strong flavours because I think the black beans can really take it. I’d be very pro the idea of star anise and coffee, for example – but Yesh can’t stand aniseed, so it’s out in this household. But take it, run with it … be free, my friends. Be free.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 7, 2012 10:29 pm

    I love black beans – especially now Sainsburys are selling the organic cartons again! This must taste fantastic with the spice mix,

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