You can buy bags of ready-mixed beans and lentils, but making your own mix is less expensive. Dal is a staple in many Malaysian pantries, so add a few other legumes and you’ll have a good source of protein and fibre, besides adding bulk to a dish.
In the recipe, the bean mix comprises red lentils, black-eyed peas, green mung beans, red beans (adzuki) and small black beans.
Eat this stew on its own or use it as the base for other dishes simply by adding ingredients such as minced meat and vegetables.
This recipe first appeared on The Star Food.
This recipe is best with
- 200g (about 1 cup) mixed dried legumes (see headnote)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp canola oil or olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 (400g) tin tomatoes or 3-4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1 stock cube (beef, chicken or vegetarian)
- salt, black pepper and sugar, to taste
- fresh lemon or lime juice
- Soak the legumes in water overnight. Drain and put them in a pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt, turn down the heat and simmer until all the legumes are cooked. Drain, but keep the liquid.
- In a large pot, heat the butter and oil. Over medium heat, cook the onion until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes; if using fresh tomatoes, add 3/4 cup legume cooking liquid. Stir in the stock cube and salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the tartness of the tomatoes, you may need to add some sugar. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes or until the fresh tomatoes are soft.
- Add the cooked legumes to the pot. Add more cooking liquid if you want a thinner stew. Cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning and add juice to taste. Serve with crusty bread.
- Beef and bean ragu : Heat 1 tbsp butter or oil in a large pot and add 180g minced beef and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned. Add 1 1/2 cups of the bean stew and cook until warmed through. Serve over cooked pasta.
- Sardine and bean pie with mash topping : Cook 600g sweet potatoes. Mash with 2 tbsp butter and 1/4 cup milk. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Heat up a tin of sardines (the size to your preference) and 1-2 cups of bean stew in a pot. Add 1/4 cup each of frozen carrots and peas. If you like it hot, add some curry powder and chillies. Scoop mixture into a casserole dish and spoon on the sweet potato mash to cover. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated cheese. Preheat oven to 220℃. Bake pie until the topping is golden, 25-30 minutes.
- Bean and vegetable curry :Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pot and add 1 tsp mustard seeds. Cook over medium heat until seeds start to sputter, then add 2-3 dried chillies and 1 sprig curry leaves. Tip in 1/2 cup each of cauliflower florets and cubed pumpkin. Add a little water. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender. Add 1/2 tsp each of ground coriander, cumin and turmeric, then 1 1/2 cups of bean stew. Cook until warmed through. Adjust seasoning. Serve with rice or chapati.
How to use bean stew