Friday, July 30, 2010

Coconut Curry Black Beans and Rice

The other night my hubby (Brandon) and I were trying to think of something quick, yet satisfying to have for dinner. Neither of us felt much like cooking, but we didn’t want to go out either. We had some left over basmati rice from the night before and we figured we could easily do something with it. Brandon came up with the sweet potatoes and rice I added the coconut milk and black beans. It’s amazing what a little team work and a pantry raid can do. Our end result was a tasty dish I call “Coconut Curry Black Beans and Rice”. It has a slight sweetness to it from the coconut milk and a slightly spicy flavor from the cloves and curry.

We love Indian Food (especially Brandon) so I often keep coconut milk, basmati and jasmine rice, and a few spices on hand just in case. I love coconut milk because it adds a subtle sweetness and an aromatic flavor to any dish you add it to. I often get the light version because it has less sugar added and is lower in calories. If you aren’t concerned with the extra calories I suggest using the regular version as it does have a slightly stronger coconut flavor to it than the light version does.

Coconut Curry Black Beans and Rice

Prep Time – 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes or less


1 15-16 oz can coconut milk – regular or light is fine
1 15-16 oz can black beans – drained and rinsed
1 15-16 oz can of cut sweet potatoes or 1 medium baked sweet potatoes – cut into bite sized pieces
3 cups cooked basmati rice
¼ cup of water
1 tsp kosher salt or ¾ tsp iodized salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves – if you like it extra spicy try adding a little more a dash at a time.
2 ½-3 tsp curry powder
Chopped cilantro for garnish – if desired


In a 2-3 quart pan add the black beans and water; simmer on med heat for 5 minutes until the beans are heated through and the water starts to cook out a little. Add sweet potatoes, stir and cook 2 more minutes. Next add the coconut milk, cloves, salt, pepper and curry powder - stirring well until all the spices are incorporated. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add rice and stir until all ingredients are well blended. Turn heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes or until rice is heated through and has soaked up some of the liquid. Serve topped with chopped fresh cilantro. Enjoy!!


thewordthatpierces said...

Hey Ray, I have a question:

How does curry powder differ from curry paste? I usually use the paste, is it interchangeable?

God Bless ~Amy

Rachel Blair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Blair said...

That is a great question! Curry paste is generally used in Thia cuisine, whereas Curry powder is used in South Asian cuisine so the flavors will vary. I am more used to using the powder and have not tried the paste in this recipe.

However, because coconut milk is common in Thia cuisine and that was what I was going for, I would give the paste a try and let me know how it works.

I think you will find the curry flavor will be a little more intense than it would be with the powder.
Rachel :)

thewordthatpierces said...

Interesting, I will have to try your recipe with both. :D Cause Shawn was extremely fond of the heat in the curry paste... lol He might just like the powder better!!!!

Rachel Blair said...

Hmm... If he likes the heat from the paste, the powder will definitly be a change, because it is not really hot. But, you can add a little cayenne pepper to the powder which will heat things up a bit more too.

thewordthatpierces said...

Oops, sorry, I meant, NOT extremely fond, in fact, he absolutely hates spicey food. :( He almost died the first time I made curry, it was even a little hot for me, but I thought it was great... lol :p

Rachel Blair said...

Perfect, if he does not like spicy food much then the powder curry might be the way to go. It is allot easier to monitor the heat because the powder (in my experience) acts as more of a flavor than a spice.
Take care,
Rachel :)