Monday, September 26, 2011

Curried Kidney Beans with Coconut Milk

          Not so long ago, comfort food meant macaroni and cheese or a casserole with thick sauce. Celiac and dairy allergy changed all that, and it’s ok – I have Curried Kidney Beans with Coconut Milk. I would never have eaten this  as a kid, and it amazes me every time I see my kids gobbling this up. It’s a creamy, spicy, favorite here, easy on the budget and oh so good. We ate big pots of it on our extended family vacation this summer, and it's a wonderful comfort food as the weather gets colder. I have been asked for the recipe many times, so finally, here it is.
Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients; it’s really quite easy and worth the bit of measuring you’ll do. Try mixing up the spices in a little bowl before cooking, and it will seem super easy to dump them in - but go easy on the cayenne and red pepper flakes until you know how spicy you like it, and add those in a little at a time (I've jazzed this up a little too much in the past, so now I spice with care!). Look for spices in bulk or at a health food store; our local store buys spices in bulk and sells them in little zip-lock bags, for a fraction of the cost of the jarred spices at the grocery store. Happy cooking!

Curried Kidney Beans with Coconut Milk

1 onion, chopped
Vegetable oil
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. cumin
½ t ginger
A few shakes - ¼ t. cayenne (start light and adjust to taste)
1 t. coriander
1 t sugar
2 T chili powder
½ t cinnamon
½ t. salt
A few shakes red pepper flakes (optional)
2 T soy sauce
1 14.5 oz can petite cut diced tomatoes (or a few fresh diced tomatoes)
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed ***
2 T lime juice

 Sauté chopped onion in heated oil, stirring and cooking for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté for a minute or so more. Stir in spices and soy sauce, and cook for another minute – doesn’t that smell amazing? Now, pour in undrained tomatoes and coconut milk, stirring until the sauce is creamy and blended. Add kidney beans, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly. The sauce will thicken, but if it gets too thick, add a bit of water from time to time. Stir in lime juice and serve with basmati rice.

***I often use 3 cans of kidney beans without increasing the amount of tomatoes or coconut milk, just increasing the spices a bit; it goes a little further this way and is just as delicious.

Trusting in Him,

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