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Bean and Peanut Pilaf

ingredients

3 tbsp dried black-eyed beans
3 tbsp dried red kidney beans or pinto beans
3 tbsp dried chick peas
3 tbsp unsalted whole raw peanuts
14 oz (400 g) long-grain rice (uncooked weight)
6 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 green chilli peppers, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 large ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 tsp mild curry powder or garam masala
3 oz (90 g) bean sprouts
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
salt

garnish with:

cucumber fans

method

1. The day before you plan to serve this dish, rinse all the dried beans and the chick peas, place them in a large bowl and add enough cold water to come well above them; soak overnight or for at least 12 hours.
Drain, transfer to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add sufficient cold water to cover them and bring to the boil.

2. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface; reduce the heat to low, cover, leaving a small gap through which the steam can escape and simmer for 45 minutes, then add the peanuts and a generous pinch of salt and continue simmering until all the dried beans and chick peas are tender. Drain and set aside.

3. While the beans are cooking, steam the rice and leave to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate in a sealed container until shortly before you start the final cooking stages of the pilaf.

4. The beans can also be refrigerated if you prefer to complete preparation up to this point several hours or a day in advance.

5. Shortly before serving the pilaf, heat 4 tbsp of the ghee in a very large deep frying pan and fry the mustard seeds gently for a few seconds; when they start to jump about in the pan, add the onion and chilli pepper and fry gently over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

6. Turn up the heat, add the tomatoes (use drained, tinned tomatoes if preferred) and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, for 2 - 3 minutes. Stir in the curry powder or garam masala, the bean sprouts, the cooked beans, chick peas and peanuts and the lime juice. Cover and cook gently over a low heat for 2 - 3 minutes.

7. Heat the remaining ghee in another large frying pan and stir-fry the rice for a few minutes, until it is heated through. Sprinkle with a small pinch of salt and combine gently with the vegetables in the larger frying pan. Serve very hot, garnished with cucumber fans.

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