Curried Pumpkin, Plantain and Adzuki Bean Stew

Yield: 10 cups

This recipe is great right off the burner and gets even better after a couple of days in the fridge.  It also freezes relatively well making it a good choice for doubling up on and storing for a rainy (or busy) day. Enjoy a bowl straight up, stuffed into a roti or served alongside some mashed yucca or potatoes.

What you need:

  • 1 cup dried adzuki beans
  • A 2” piece of kombu seaweed
  • 3 bay leaves, divided
  • 1 lb cooked pumpkin (a watery Hallowe’en type pumpkin is perfect here)
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2-1/2 cups water (or more if you use a drier pumpkin), divided
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons curry powder (a hot West Indian blend is recommended)
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped (adjust the amount of garlic to personal taste, I like the stew made with the larger amount)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 large onions, diced, 2 cups
  • 2 small parsnips, roll-cut into large chunks, 2 cups (optional)
  • 2 large carrots, roll-cut into large chunks, 2 generous cups
  • 1-1/2 plantains (at the yellowish with some black spots stage) halved and chopped into large chunks, 2 generous cups
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

What you do:

  1. Soak the dry beans overnight or up to 24 hours in a generous amount of fresh water, enough to cover by 3’’-4’’.
  2. Drain the beans; add to a pot with more fresh water to cover by an inch or two along with the kombu and 2 of the bay leaves.
  3. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer on stove-top until beans are very tender, 45-50 minutes.  You could also pressure cook the beans for 15-20 minutes and allow a natural pressure release.
  4. When cooked, remove the seaweed and bay and drain the beans. Set aside.
  5. While the beans are cooking, put the pumpkin, crushed tomatoes, curry powder, thyme, allspice, garlic, ginger and 1 cup of the water in a blender or the work-bowl of a food processor. Whiz until relatively smooth.  Set the purée aside.
  6. Heat the coconut oil in a large Dutch oven or cooking pot. Add the onions and sauté until light golden.  It’s easiest to cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar, removing it occasionally to stir the onions.
  7. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with a bit of the pumpkin purée. Add the rest of the purée and the remaining 1-1/2 cups of water, bay leaf, carrot, parsnip and plantain.
  8. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes or until carrots and parsnip are tender-crisp and the plantain a bright yellow colour throughout.
  9. Add the salt and mix well.
  10. Add the cooked beans to the stew and simmer another 5-10 minutes, covered, until the beans are hot.
  11. Serve.

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