Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Coconut Chili and Bean Medley

Here's something I experimented with the other night that came out quite good. It has a sweet and spicy, vaguely eastern flavor due to the light coconut milk and seasonings. I've been playing with coconut milk a lot since tasting Thai curry a few years ago, and this is another of my variations.

coconut chili and bean medley

  • Sauté half of a yellow onion (diced) and four minced cloves of garlic with a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a deep pan.

  • Add 1/2 bag golden raisins, and four cooked and diced Yukon gold potatoes.

  • Add 1 can rinsed and drained kidney beans, one can rinsed and drained chick peas, and 1/2 bag steamed or prepared lentils (about one cup).

  • Add 1 can light coconut milk, three-quarters of a jar of Trader Joe's roasted red pepper and eggplant dip***, 1/3 bag of cashews, and 1/3 bag frozen peas.

  • Season with salt, pepper, a little cumin and coriander, and a more generous amount of chili powder to taste. Heat through and combine until peas are thawed, and the dish is warm.

  • Serve over brown rice, and garnish with red bell pepper or scallions.

I think this dish is easy to prepare, even if you don't really cook. It looks like a lot, but it is all "pantry" ingredients, and it is my favorite style of cooking (just combining things in a pan.) Don't be scared if it looks a little strange... The raisins give it a burst of sweetness, and the nuts give it a nice crunch. The leftovers (and there will be a lot), reheated very well, and it may have even tasted better after a couple of days in the fridge.

*** You could make your own by processing oil-packed red peppers (with the oil), garlic, and grilled eggplant until smooth.


  1. Don't you just love coconut milk? It's something I rarely cook with but when I do...yum!

    The other day my husband was looking through our cocktail book and found a recipe for a drink using coconut milk. I can't remember exactly what was in it but it sounded very tasty.

  2. I think I would eat or drink it in just about anything...