For as long as I can remember I’ve eaten red beans and rice. From my childhood dinner table and as an adult, I enjoy this delicious dish. Over the last several years I’ve also made this traditional meal for my son. He absolutely loves it and so do I.
Throughout the years, I’ve had the tendency to use the same spices over and over again, which it’s okay. Salt, black pepper, cayenne, chili powder and chili flakes have been my go-to favorites. The last time I made red beans and rice however, I realized we were out of ancho chili powder, which is my favorite spice for most of the meals I prepare. After lamenting for a few minutes, I thought I’d try something new.
Since I shifted my focus to elevating myself and how I show up in this world, I decided to translate that to my meals. I was not going back to the grocery store, so I looked at what I had in my pantry. My eyes fixated on the Curry powder and thought, why not. In the past I typically used curry with coconut milk-based dishes, and it didn’t occur to me to use it any other way. Until now.
I added the curry powder to the beans and felt completely captivated as the curry smell permeated the house. I enjoyed the spicy fragrance as I continued on with my day, waiting for the beans and rice to finish.
After a couple hours, I put the cast iron skilled on the table and announced dinner time to my son. He immediately came out and put a hefty portion in his bowl. Since we very often eat on the couch, my son was looking through our YouTube, trying to find a Daily Show for us to enjoy.
I filled my bowl, put a forkful into my mouth and felt very pleased with the flavor. I then waited for my son’s response.
“Mmmm mom, this is good!” He said while scrolling through the newest episodes.
Adding Curry powder to the red beans and rice was a complete success. The curry combined well with the cumin adding a little boost in flavor that I truly enjoyed. The texture was just right, nice and tender. It was just delicious!
We enjoyed the meal for dinner, and my favorite part happened the next day. I prepared an over medium egg and served it with the red beans and rice, added a cilantro garnish, then ate every bit for breakfast.
I definitely plan to keep this recipe, along with my usual, on our family menu.
The recipe is below and if you try it, I’d love to know what you think.
Red Beans and Rice
This red beans and rice is a simple classic, however I added a few additional elements to elevate the flavor.
2tbspred palm oil (Divided)You can also use extra virgin olive oil
1/2serrano pepperjalepeno, habanero, or scotch bonnet will also work
2cupsred beanssoaked overnight and drained
1tbspsea salt (divided)
2tbsp tomato paste
1.5 cupswhite or brown ricerinse white rice well
1largeBeefsteak tomatoOr two small tomatoes
Chop your onion, celery, and pepper into small pieces. Turn the stove burner on to medium heat, and in a large pot sauté them into one tablespoon of the red palm oil. This could take approximately 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Drain your red beans and pour them into the pot with the sautéed vegetables. Add in your sea salt, black pepper, cumin, curry, and turmeric. Stir until combined. Pour in the warm water, stir, and let the beans simmer on low heat for three hours. Just as you get close to the three-hour mark, mince your garlic and puree the tomato. Take out your Dutch oven and put it on the stove. On medium heat, add the rest of the red palm oil to the Dutch oven, and sauté your minced garlic with the tomato paste. Once the two are completely combined, pour in your well-rinsed rice and stir until the rice is completely coated with the tomato paste/garlic mixture.Using a couple of good oven mitts, carefully pick up the pot with the boiling beans, and pour the beans and remaining liquid into the Dutch oven. Add in the tomato puree. Stir until the beans and rice are combined. Cover the pot, turn the burner to low heat, and let simmer for another two hours.Very important: I like to check on the beans and rice while simmering to make sure that the bottom doesn’t burn. I typically stir around the 45-minute mark, then again after about an-hour-and-a-half. After the beans and rice have cooked together for two hours, test the texture. If it’s to your liking, turn off the burner and allow them to sit until you’re ready to serve.Should your beans and rice still feel a bit firm, add about a half cup more warm water, and let simmer until all the liquid is drained.Serve and enjoy!