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Archive for the ‘Black Beans’ Category

One of my favorite Indian dishes is daal.  There are so many variants of daal that this “dish” could fill a cookbook.  I made this version after picking up a jar of tamarind paste and daydreaming about what to do with it.  The tartness of the tamarind is a wonderful surprise that is mellowed and smoothed by the canela.  Though black beans are traditionally used in latin dishes, they worked really well with these Asian flavors.

Tamarind Daal

Ingredients:

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced

2 cups dried black beans

1-1/2 cup yellow split peas

1-15 oz can sweet potato purée

1-15 oz can coconut milk

1-2 T tamarind paste [I used Neera’s]

1 large cinnamon stick [I used a stick of Mexican cinnamon called canela]

2 star anise pods

~ 2 quarts vegetable stock [to cook the black beans]

Coconut oil for sautéing the onions and garlic

Optional garnishes:  fresh cilantro, non-dairy yogurt [So Delicious plain yogurt is our choice], cinnamon nibs, shredded coconut.

Directions:

Soak beans overnight.  Drain and rinse.  Place in a large pot and cover with vegetable stock by a couple inches.  Add the star anise and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.  Add the split peas and continue cooking until the beans and peas are tender.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Sauté the onions, ginger and garlic in a spoonful of coconut oil until softened.  Using a whisk, mix the sweet potato purée, coconut milk and tamarind together until the mixture is homogenous.  Add into the pan with the onions.  Cook covered on a low simmer for ten minutes.  [Taste for seasoning and if you want to add more tamarind to make the sauce tarter, now is the time to add it in.]

Once tender, drain the beans and remove the star anise and cinnamon.

Transfer the beans to an oven-safe dish and stir in the sauce mixture.  [If you need to extend the sauce, add in some vegetable stock or water.]

Bake at 350°F until bubbly.

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This sauce is a wonderfully thick, rich and quick version of  Mexican mole that was inspired by a gift.   Recently, a friend of ours went to Santa Fe, New Mexico and upon her return, she gave us some incredible artisanal drinking chocolate that she had purchased from the Kakawa Chocolate House.  [Thank you, Marti!] 

Later, as I was drinking it, all I could think about was how I could  integrate this savory and spicy chocolate into food.  This sauce was the first thing that came to mind because I love the combination of  pumpkin and chocolate.  The only problem was that I had to wait for more to arrive before I could start tinkering about in the kitchen.  You see,  I had to order more since it had all disappeared.  In order to prevent the problem from reoccuring, I ordered two bags; the chocolate is just that good.

 

Chili Chocolate and Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Ingredients:

1-15 oz can pureed organic pumpkin [I use Farmer’s Market Organic ]

1 cup hot water

4 dried guajillo peppers, deseeded

4 roma tomatoes

1 onion, halved

4 cloves garlic

¼ tsp cumin

2 tsp dried Mexican oregano

2 tsp no chicken bouillon

2 T Walnut oil

1 ball  Kakawa artisanal chocolate [I used the Chili Chocolate Elixir blend for this]

Salt and pepper to taste

Pumpkin seeds, for garnish

Golden raisins, for garnish

1-15 oz can organic black beans, drained and rinsed, for garnish

Directions:

Place the guajillo chilis in a hot dry pan.  Toast each side, careful not to burn.  Transfer to a bowl and add 1 cup hot water to rehydrate.

To the same hot dry pan, add the onion halves and tomatoes.  Blacken the sides.  Transfer to a blender.  Add the guajillos and soaking liquid, garlic and pumpkin puree.  Process until the sauce is smooth.  Transfer to a pot and bring to a simmer on the stove.

Add the cumin, oregano and bouillon.  Continue to simmer for a few minutes and then add the chocolate.  Reduce heat.   Whisk the chocolate into the sauce.  Cover and let sit as you cook the pasta.  Just prior to serving, add the walnut oil and season with salt and pepper. 

Serve over pasta [I used chewy Udon noodles] and garnish with black beans, pumpkin seeds and golden raisins.

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