Simple butterbean Curry
I just discovered this recipe (and adapted it a little to be healthier) by Rose Elliot and its lovely. Just the thing for a cold winters evening. Comfort food at its best. I made extra for leftovers next day or to stick in the freezer.
For 2-3 people
1 mug (200g) dried butter beans or 2 x 400g tins (with no added sugar)
2 tbs virgin coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
400g fresh tomatoes, chopped (or half a 400g tin chopped tomatoes)
1 rounded tsp black mustard seeds (if you don’t have any, use 1/2 tsp mustard powder)
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
1 tbs raw ginger, grated (peel the ginger first if its not organic)
1/2-1 tsp chilli powder, or to taste
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
1 level tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp asofoetida (a sulphur-rich Indian spice from Asian shops but gluten-sensitive people DO check the ingredient label)
A little water
Fresh coriander, chopped, if you have it
1. Soak the dried beans in lots of clean filtered water overnight. Boil hard for 15 minutes and continue to cook until soft. Drain but keep the liquid and set aside. If using tinned beans, drain and rinse in clean water and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan, add 1 tbs water and sweat the onion (with the lid on) over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until translucent and softened.
3. Add the spices and stir around for a minute or two.
4. Add the tomatoes and garlic and about 50ml of water too. Add the cooked butter beans, stir well and cook the lot together for at least 5 minutes, until the beans are hot. You should have something that is not dry so if it looks like there is not enough liquid to stop everything from sticking, add a little more.
5. Sprinkle with chopped coriander just prior to serving.
Something raw: e.g. a green baby leaf salad, an Indian style salad of chopped tomato, red onion and coriander, or the spinach curry on this blog.
Brown basmati rice cooked with a little turmeric
Quinoa (has more protein to keep you fuller even longer if veggie dinners don’t normally do it for you)
Why this is good for you:
Almost all herbs and spices have huge health benefits. From mustard reducing the pain and irritation of eczema, to chillies healing stomach ulcers by strengthening the stomach lining (and killing pain), to ginger and turmeric as anti-inflammatories that support liver function. Herbs and spices have strong antioxidant properties even at small doses and thousands of scientific research papers keep the evidence stacking up. Butter beans are a lovely source of protein to keep you fuller for longer and reduce your reliance on meat. They take up flavours really well. Just be sure to soak the beans overnight in filtered water before boiling hard for at least 15 minutes, and continuing to cook till tender. Beans contain protease inhibitors – substances that prevent digestion (!). Proper soaking and cooking disables these protease inhibitors, making the nutrients in the beans more available to your body. Nutrients include magnesium, vital for skin, sleep and good mental health. Beans also contain soluble fibre. This feeds good bacteria in your gut responsible for detoxifying hormones and much much more.