Friday, April 13, 2012

Coconut Beans on Pea Pilaf

Coconut Beans and Pea Pilaf for a Rainy Day

Now that I'm really past my allergies - two weeks of suffering and chapped nose - I can go back to the kitchen to do more than heat up a can of soup. I made this as comfort meal - a pea pilaf topped with beans cooked in a coconut-onion gravy (recipe for the gravy borrowed from my mother in law).

Ingredients for beans in coconut gravy
1 can cannellini beans
1 yellow onion (medium sized) chopped
1 small tomato (chopped)
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander powder
1 dry red chilli
2 tablespoons cooking oil (any kind)

Ingredients for Pea Pilaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion (medium)
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon mixed herbs (I used Italian mix)
2 teaspoons ground pepper (or less if you like)
1/2 cup mixed green peas and corn kernels
1 cup rice
Salt (I used herbed sea salt and it tasted amazing)

Cooking method for the beans:
  1. First, toss the onions and broken dry red chilli (just break the chilli into thick pieces) in 1/2 tablespoon of oil - medium heat. Wait for onions to turn translucent and then add the shredded coconut.
  2. Stir it around and then add the turmeric, ground coriander powder and garam masala. Stir the mixture.
  3. Add the chopped tomato and stir it all together. Wait until the tomato looks a little wrinkly (cooked).
  4. Remove from heat and cool.
  5. Grind to a paste (as fine as you can) in the blender.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a wok-type vessel.
  7. Add the paste to it and stir it. Add water to make a thick, gravy-like consistency. Increase the heat so it boils.
  8. Rinse the cannellini beans and add them to the gravy.
  9. Mix the beans into the gravy and add salt.
  10. Let the gravy boil and then switch it off.

Cooking method for pilaf:
  1. Heat the oil in a deep vessel (whatever you use to cook rice).
  2. Add the onions and stir them in until they become translucent.
  3. Add the bay leaf and spices (pepper, mixed herbs).
  4. Add the peas and corn mix. Toss them until they're properly coated in the oil.
  5. Add the rice.
  6. Add double the quantity of water (1 cup rice = 2 cups water).
  7. Mix in some salt. Adjust the salt at this point so it spreads evenly as the rice is cooking.
  8. Increase the heat so it boils and cooks the rice and veggies.
  9. Check after 10 minutes. It usually doesnt take long at all.
To serve, add the pilaf in a bowl and top it with the curry. Heaven!

Serves: 4


  1. Here is something odd about me: I love the smell of coconut but cannot stand it's taste. So..I could sniff this food but not eat it. A pity!

  2. Hey, guess what? My best friend has the same problem with coconut. In India, most of the people who live up north cannot stand coconut, which is more popular in coastal and southern cuisines.

    I can't stand coconut in chocolate but love it in curries.