Versatile Baked Beans

We absolutely love baked beans, it’s a rare treat for us. Usually I buy store bought beans and put a ‘masala’ spin on it. However, the unavailability of canned product got me experimenting a little.

I figured any beans would do good as long as they were tiny in size. I chose red chowli (aka, black eyed peas). It barely took any pre-prep work apart form soaking the beans overnight and were ready in good time the next day.

These are so versatile because they can be dolloped on steamed rice, made quesadillas with, rolled up into chapatis as frankies, eaten as a dip, had on toast of course. The combinations are limitless!

Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Red black eyed peas (laal chowli)
  • Tomatoes for puree or use canned tomato puree
  • Garlic
  • Onions, chopped finely
  • Bell pepper of your choice of colour, chopped finely
  • Cumin powder
  • Ginger powder
  • Chilli flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mustard powder
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Green chillies, finely diced (optional)
  • Red chilli flakes (optional)
  • Coriander, finely chopped
  • A little vinegar (white)

Method:

  • Soak the chowli overnight
  • Boil Tomatoes and puree them. If not use canned tomato puree
  • Pressure cook it until its nice and mushy
  • Keep it aside
  • Add olive oil to a sauce pan or skillet and on medium flame add garlic, chillies & onion and saute until the onions go a little soft (I prefer the onions a little crunchy)
  • Add peppers and salute a little more
  • Next add the pureed tomatoes
  • Once the sauce mix is nice and bubbly add the salt, pepper, cumin powder, mustard powder, sugar all to taste
  • Add the mushy chowli and ‘mush’ a wee bit more if required
  • Bring to boil until its all nicely mixed up
  • Add water to bring it to desired consistency
  • Turn off heat after a good boil
  • Garnish with fresh chopped coriander

PS: I sprinkle the red chili flakes only on our share, my children can handle a small hit of heat from the green chillies but the dried red ones will take some time.

Serve warm with your choice of accompaniment.

We had these for dinner followed by breakfast of fried egg on a layer of beans on toast the next day :)

How do you like your beans?

Simple meals in complicated times

Now that we’re experiencing this life of ‘social distancing’, we’re trying our best to be as judicious with our food consumption as possible. No extras and no untimely snacks.

With the scarcity of processed food, perishable produce is what most are relying on with no real guarantee of quality. Each trip to the local vendor comes along with fear of “what if this stops too?” and a side of guilt when one knows about the situation of the daily wager.

Our morning meal is a simple potatoes, spinach (which I was lucky to find) and onion raita accompanied with hot rotis. This raita is filling and packed with veg. One can have this raita with pulao too.

It’s a quick and filling fix when we’re running short on time and energy given that chores need to be completed. Some might argue the combination of spinach and yoghurt to be a no go, however I am okay making the one odd exception once in a while.

It’s filling and delicious and one could add anything to it to make it hearty.

Here’s my recipe.

Ingredients for the Raita:

  • Boiled potatoes
  • Blanched spinach (optional)
  • Finely chopped onion
  • Coriander & Mint from our kitchen garden
  • Salt
  • Mustard powder
  • Hing
  • Cumin powder
  • Red chilli powder
  • 2 Pods of fresh garlic or garlic chives (optional)
  • Yoghurt

Method:

  • Cube the potatoes and boil them
  • Chop the spinach and blanch it
  • Chop the herbs and onion super fine
  • Whisk the yoghurt add water if necessarily thinning it down to the desired consistency
  • Add all the ingredients and the masalas to the yoghurt
  • Set it aside the raita to cool

Here’s wishing all a safe and healthy stay at home.