BLACK BEANS also called turtle beans are classified as legumes. They are known as turtle beans because of their hard, shell-like appearance, black beans are, in fact, the edible seeds of the plant. Like other legumes, such as peanuts, peas, and lentils, black beans are prized for their high protein content. They also contain several vitamins and minerals that are known to be beneficial to us. High in fibre and low in fat black beans make a delicious addition to our healthy diets.
They are quite tasty, and can be used in any way you would use your regular beans such as red or black eye. Stew them, add them to your rice cookups and even soups. Black beans have become a regular on my kitchen counter alongside my other beans.
They are very easy to prepare, soak them for a couple of hours, no more than three, because they they begin to lose their colour. Boil them in fresh water with garlic, a touch of cumin and a bay leaf about 40 minutes until tender, and enjoy them in any of your favourite bean recipes.
Black bean burgers
2 cups cooked black beans
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
2 pimento peppers, chopped
2 tbs chilli powder, Mexican
2 tsp geera
½ cup cornmeal
1 cup cooked brown rice
Coconut oil to pan fry
Handful of chadon beni leaves or cilantro stalks
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, process just until mixture comes together.
Form into patties and pan fry in coconut oil.
Serve with tomato relish and a dollop of yoghurt.
Hot and spicy chilli with lamb and black beans
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 lb ground lamb
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped chives
2 large onions, cut into large pieces
1 tbs ground, roasted geera
1 tbs good quality chilli powder
1 chipolte chilli in adobo sauce
1 tsp salt or to taste
14 oz tin black beans
14 oz tin whole tomatoes with juice
¼ cup chopped chadon beni or cilantro
In a large heavy skillet heat oil, add lamb and brown until fat runs off, remove from fire and pour off fat, return to heat and add garlic and chives, combine.
Add onions. Add geera, chilli powder and chipolte.
Continue cooking for about two minutes.
Add salt, black beans and tomatoes cook until chilli begins to bubble.
Cover and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Sprinkle chadon beni just before serving
Feel good black beans and quinoa salad
1 cup quinoa
1 cup black beans, cooked and drained
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped, or less if you prefer
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp roasted geera
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbs red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
Wash the quinoa well in a sieve, place into a medium sized saucepan.
Add one cup water and bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes, cool.
Combine quinoa with beans, red pepper, onion, coriander, and geera.
Stir well, now add salt, vinegar and olive oil.
Toss to combine, sprinkle on parsley and toss.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Black bean tart with chilli crust
For the crust
1¼ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
7 tbs butter
2 tbs ice water
raw chick peas for weighting the shell
For the filling
½ pound dried black beans, picked over, soaked overnight and drained
1 bay leaf
1 white onion
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs thick yoghurt
1 sweet bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 red pimentos, seeded and chopped
1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped
1½ cups grated cheese
1 10 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
½ cup chopped chives
½ cup chopped fresh coriander or chadon beni
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
In a bowl of a food processor or with a pastry blender blend or pulse together flour, spices and salt.
Add butter and pulse just until butter is the size of small peas.
Add ice water and blend until water is incorporated and mixture forms a dough.
Press dough evenly into the bottom and sides of a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and chill for 15 minutes or overnight.
Line shell with foil and fill with raw chickpeas. Bake shell in middle of oven until edges are set, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Carefully remove foil and chickpeas and continue baking for a further 10 minutes until golden.
In a large sauce pan combine black beans, bay leaf, white onion, and a pinch of brown sugar.
Cover with water and simmer until tender, about 2 hours. Add more water if needed.
Drain beans, discard bay leaf and cool.
In a food processor puree 1 cup beans with yoghurt and garlic, season with salt and black pepper to taste.
In a large bowl combine corn, remaining beans, chives, red onion, bell pepper, pimento pepper and cheese.
Season with salt and pepper. Spread bean puree evenly onto crust, mound with remaining filling pressing gently. Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted. Cool in pan before removing. Sprinkle with coriander and serve.
Serves 6 to 8