Sunday, July 18, 2010

Black bean curry

Of all the beans I got introduced to after moving to US (and wow, isn't there a variety!) black beans are the ones I got adapted to most easily. Black beans are sure an integral part of the Mexican cuisine but their hardy taste and pair-ability with many spices makes them an ideal bean to be experimenting with. In particular, over the years of cooking with black beans I have realized that black beans and dried oregano is a match made in heaven! I always keep a bottle of dried oregano in my pantry just for the black beans :)

This black bean curry was born out of necessity (don't they always say necessity is the mother of invention ;)). One day all I had was a can of black beans and a few tomatoes at home so I made a quick black bean saute with onions-garlic-tomatoes and it was a big hit with both of us. Over the years I have tuned this recipe in more ways than one. It still remains my go-to recipe when I have 20-mins or less to bring something to table. Incidently, believe it or not this curry pairs extremely well with Injeras! Marriage of two vastly differently cuisines indeed.. if ever you do have some extra injeras lying around, do make this curry with some misir wot and I guarantee it will be a meal you will remember ;)
Recipe: Serves 2/3
1 15oz can black beans (or soaked and cooked)
1/2 large onion - finely chopped
2 small green chilis - finely sliced
2 large cloves of garlic - smashed
2 tomatoes - finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper - finely chopped (optional)
water (1/2 to 1C - depending on how liquid you want the gravy to be)
1/4tsp cumin powder
pinch of dried oregano
cilantro for garnish
2tsp olive oil

*** The curry will still taste good if you skip the oregano; but do try it with oregano if you have some at hand.  Oregano elevates this simple black bean curry to something very very delicious. Sprinkle with lemon juice at the end, if you do skip oregano.
  1. Saute onions, red pepper (if using) and green chili in olive oil over medium heat.
  2. When the onions are tender add garlic and saute a couple of minutes until aromatic.
  3. Then add tomatoes and saute until tomatoes start to fall apart.
  4. Add black beans and enough water to make the desired curry consistency.
  5. Add cumin powder, oregano and salt.
  6. Let simmer for 10mins or so until the gravy has thickened a bit.
  7. Remove from heat; garnish with cilantro.
  8. Serve with hot corn tortillas or some freshly made cilantro rice. 


  1. I love black bean.. the curry looks so delicious and nice idea to have them with injira too.. wonderful !!!! and so healthy as well.

  2. Lovely black bean curry PJ. Looks really delicious.

  3. Black beans curry looks simply superb PJ...


  4. PJ, Injeera and black beans Mexican curry, what is not to like.

  5. I love it when we indianize the foreign recipes.. Loved your variation.

  6. Its so easy to prepare and yet very delicious too...

  7. love that soupy gravy of the curry. never had black bean but guess we can recreate it with rajma.
    between today I used 4 big limes to preserve. will make another batch of couscous with that soon.

  8. Dear Prajakta
    Thata great!!! Jeera and arigano combination..I can get the smell right here.
    WHat is black bean called in India? Never mind will try this recipe on any bean...
    I have responded to your comment at my blog..Thank you so much for visiting my fake blog...
    have a nicely engineered week....

  9. This looks so great n healthy. Let me giv a try ...!

  10. very tempting and healthy curry..

  11. I too like Sayantani would prepare this with rajma. Looks very healthy and delicious

    Hamaree Rasoi

  12. I must try this with the oregano, sounds very interesting.

  13. PJ...thats a fantastic curry you whipped up with just a few ingredients..i shud learn to do that:)
    BTW i tried ur pav bhaji and it was jus brilliant..thanks for posting such an easy recipe

  14. Beautiful,healthy and protein packed curry, makes me hungry..

  15. It's long time I made a black bean curry, looks yummy.., and a beautiful click

  16. Such a simple curry! Never tried with oregano though. I normaaly add a little sour cream or greek plain yogurt to this curry as well when i make at home. Looks yummy and light!

  17. Wow! That's quite different curry, looks very inviting.

  18. Definitely sounds good to me!

  19. Another easy and yummy dish but never used black bean though....

  20. What a great and hearty vegetarian meal. My mother in law makes a great kidney bean curry. I wonder if it would taste similar to that.
    *kisses* HH

  21. Looks sooo healthy and must be delicious. Very inviting and mouthwatering.

  22. It sounds wonderful! I always have black beans in my cupboard. It's good to know I'm not the only only that uses spices other than Cuban spices with black beans! Although I love them that way too! I love your inventive dishes! So good that you write it down and give us amounts ;)

  23. delicious healthy and very best combo with bread..

  24. A delicious curry, I love the addition of oregano, which gives an Italian touch!! brilliant!

  25. Black beans are a favorite of mine as well! I've never had them in curry before but I love the idea...looks so tasty.

  26. I love this curry....looks so yummy!!! nice clicks too

  27. I love my black beans- of course I really love all beans. I agree with you about the oregano but you must try epazote with black beans- I think you may like it.

    Very creative dish here. I would like to try this one.

  28. I too make this kind of curry with rajma but do not use oregano, must try with that..looks delicious...

  29. Never tried oregano with black beans..will try sometime :)
    Curry looks delicious, would love to have it with rice!

  30. Looks simply superb. MUst have tasted good too.

  31. Looks great. Pair this with some crusty sourdough bread and chive butter and a nice glass of burgundy. Yum.


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