By Dick Beaumont
This is a really staple dish for ocean passage making for five reasons…
- Since it contains no meat or fish it will last for several days without freezing, so a nice big pot can be cooked up and put on standby for crew that need a hot and tasty meal at any time day or night. You’ll enjoy it far more than any pot noodle!
2. On a long crossing, the freezer may become very depleted. A relatively small amount of the dried beans and pulses can feed several crew for several days, can be stored indefinitely and takes up very little room in a galley drawer.
3. It’s a one-pot dish that is very easy to make.
4. It’s very low cost; a meal for four hungry crew will cost less than 3 Euros!
5. It’s very good for you and the planet.
- ¼ kg dried butter bean (you can use any dried beans)
- ¼ kg dried black eyed beans (you can use any dried beans)
- ¼ kg dried chickpeas (or again you can use any dried beans)
- ¼ kg yellow lentils or toor dall
- 1 kg onions
- ½ head garlic
- 6 large tomatoes or 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- Bunch of fresh coriander leaves or mug of chopped frozen coriander leaves
- 2 green or red chillies or ½ tsp chilli powder
- 2 dried bay leaves
- ¼ cup olive oil or sunflower oil
- 3 tbsp ground cumin
- 3 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ fresh lemon
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste.
- Water as needed
Put the beans, chickpeas and lentils/dall in a large dish, cover with water three times the depth of the beans and let stand for 24 hours to rehydrate the beans and pulses.
When the beans and pulses are fully rehydrated put them in a deep pot, add water only. Simmer at a low level until they soften but still have some bite.
Finely chop the onions and gently fry them in the oil until they are clear without browning. Add the garlic, also finely chopped, continue frying on low heat for 15 mins. Make sure the onions and the garlic don’t brown.
Add all the spices and the chillies (also finely chopped) and fry into the onions and garlic. Be careful not to burn the mixture, add a little more oil if too dry.
Add the tomatoes; skinned and chopped, or the two tins of chopped tomatoes.
Add water (one pint + or -) so the beans are well covered. Add tomato paste. Add fresh or frozen coriander, coarsely chopped. Add dried bay leaves.
Squeeze the juice from half of the lemon into the pan, then cut the squeezed half lemon into four and add to the pan.
Simmer on a low heat for 2 hours stirring occasionally…be gently. Add salt to taste.
Serve with bread, pasta or rice.