Madhur Jaffery's World Vegetarian is a great resource when you have something vegetarian in your fridge or pantry and don't know what to do with it. I had a bunch of red beans left over from the vegetarian chili that I wanted to use for Sunday dinner. If you google “red beans” you end up with a lot of recipes for Louisiana style red beans and rice, which wasn't what I had in mind. This African stew was just the thing: easy and tasty.
The peanut-butter flavor isn't strong here, the peanut butter adds more creaminess than flavor. My peanut-butter-refusing four-year-old ate his portion without complaint. If you're dealing with allergies I think any mild nut or seed butter would work here.
You can use up beans you've already cooked, a mix of varieties would be fine, especially if you have pinto beans around. The original recipe calls for kidney beans, but I used small red beans. You can cook them just for the occasion, or you can use canned, so long as you rinse them thoroughly. I store my cooked beans without liquid, so, just as if I were using canned beans, I used a low-sodium vegetable broth whenever Jaffrey called for using the cooking liquid.
Nigerian Red Kidney Bean Stew with a Peanut Sauce
adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian
1 ½ cups brown rice
4 cups cooked small red beans
(or cook 1 ½ cups dried beans with 2 teaspoons salt)
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 small green bell pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup canned tomato sauce
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup water
1 ½ Tablespoons smooth peanut butter
6 Tablespoons low-sodium vegetable broth, plus more for stew.
(if cooking beans from dried, use cooking liquid instead of broth)
If cooking beans from dried, begin about 2 hours before you want to eat.
Cook brown rice according to your preferred method.
In a wide, medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
Finely chop onion. Mince Garlic. Seed and finely chop green pepper. Add vegetables to hot oil and stir, cooking until onions are just translucent.
Add the cumin and stir once. Add tomato sauce, cayenne, lemon juice and water. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Put peanut butter in a small bowl and slowly stir in 6 tablespoons of broth. Add this mixture to the beans.
When the tomato sauce has finished cooking add the beans. If you have cooked beans from dried, include the cooking liquid. If not, add enough broth to make stew desired consistency. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
Serve hot over rice.