I love beans. I really do. Kidney beans, speckled beans, white beans, chick peas – beans beans glorious beans.

I also much prefer soaked and home boiled beans to tinned beans although sometimes I cave in and buy easy to use tinned beans. Not this time no. This time I did the soaking overnight and the boiling thing and so I have a bag of mixed bins in my freezer for future meals.

In the last half an hour or so of boiling I added chillies and garlic cloves to the boiling beans just to give them some depth of taste. I also added salt only at that late stage to add flavour but to prevent toughening the skins with too early salt.

 

I decided with all these gloriously freshly homemade beans it was time for a bean curry for dinner – it being meatless Monday n’all.

 

I started by sautéing onions, garlic, chilli, celery and fennel for a bit. I then added coriander, curry powder and cayenne pepper and let them heat in the dry pan. The smell of these spices heating with the beginnings of the curry had the bf lurking around the kitchen, just inhaling through his nose.

 

I then added a tin of chopped tomatoes, 4 ladles of mixed beans, a half a tin’s worth of red wine, chopped carrots and topped and tailed green beans. I chucked the last handful of parsley and fresh coriander I had into the pot too. Lid on and gentle simmer.

 

I decided we needed a mash to soak up what I hoped would be a yummy sauce, so I made a parsnip and potato mash. I let the bean curry simmer, with the lid off for the second half of the time, for as long as it took for the chunky root veggies to boil.

And serve!

The carrots were still crunchy, the fresh beans still whole and the whole lot combined into a really fulfilling and delicious meal. Good for the universe and good for the pocket.

While eating the bf and I were discussing the pros of properly made beans and he said that the superior taste was why our grandparents spent a day making food rather than opening a tin.

 

Soaking beans may take all day but it does not use up a whole day of your time. You just leave the chaps to soak away and then the next day you boil them. If the next day doesn’t work for you, you can change the water every 12 hours for about 3 days before it gets urgent to cook the beans. And remember – DO NOT salt the water until the very end of the cooking process. If you do, the beans skins with toughen up and be indigestible.

 

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