This amazing plantain and black bean stew is a take on Nigerian bean porridge. Growing up my parents used to make a bean porridge, a typical west African dish that you could alternate between including plantain and yam. I always loved it when my parents made the version with plantain.
To be honest, I haven’t made this dish very many times in my adult life because quite frankly, when you’ve had something so many times, you experience a level of fatigue that just puts you off from wanting to eat it. Also, back then beans in any form were not exactly my favorite thing to eat…much less twice a week on some occasions.
Recently, I’ve been on a bit of a journey with the foods I grew up eating. I have been revisiting them and exploring ways in which I could elevate them and make them slightly healthier. Nigerian food uses a lot of various ingredients to give that authentic flavor, but some are just simply not the best things to be eating. Palm oil for example is one of those—Maggi is another. I have figured out though, that some recipes that call for palm oil can be replaced with tomatoes/and or some sort of stock (beef, chicken, fish).
Traditional porridge recipes use black-eyed peas or honey beans as well as some ground shellfish and fish stock. But, when I was reimagining the plantain and black bean stew recipe I wanted to keep it as plant-based and as EASY as possible. That definitely meant no black-eyed peas, which take forever. It also meant no shellfish, so I used vegetable stock instead.
Where can I purchase plantain?
Any greengrocer in your neighborhood or high-street should have this available. Be sure to purchase just ripe plantain, so it doesn’t get too mushy in the dish. A just ripe plantain that is yellow, firm with little to no brown spots on the skin.
Ingredients for black bean and plantain stew
Black beans, tomatoes, and of course some delicious plantain to start!
Blackbean and plantain stew/chilli
- 16 March 2021
- 1 hr
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- Olive oil
- 2 ripe plantains
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 sweet red peppers
- 1 cup spinach, washed and drained
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon Chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon Turmeric
- 1 tablespoon Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional sliced red or red or green chiles
- Step 1
- In a duch pot, add olive oil and set the heat to medium-high. Roast plantain chunks for 5 minutes, remove and set aside. Add more oil, add the onions and peppers and sauté. Once the onions are translucent add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Step 2
- Add beans, tomatoes, paprika, chili powder, cumin. Stir and allow to simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Step 3
- Add plantains and allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Finish with salt, pepper, and spinach
- Step 4
- Dish in a bowl and add optional garnish. Serve.