byAdam Jagich via web
Monday beans, Tuesday beans, Wednesday beans, Thursday baked beans, never a day without our beans, beans, beans!
There are no markets, shops or fruit stands among the unchartered ancient landscapes of Malawi. While searching for evidence of past humans we have to bring all of our food. Since we obviously can't carry a refrigerator this means bringing along lots of dried beans.
Luckily, Malawian beans are sensational! Over the last few weeks we have improved our recipe for bean stew, which is a spicy mix of beans, vegetables and beans in a tomato based sauce, and would like to share it with all of you. All ingredients, such as the beans, can be bought at the market in Karonga Town.
BEANS - 400g dried
Capsicum - 2 large Tomatoes - 2.5kg
Cumin Onions - 1kg
Coriander Garlic -2 bulbs Birds Eye chili - 6 Oil - 100ml Salt and Pepper Carrots - 4 Special Malawian ingredient - to taste
Method: To create this bean sensation you have to be well prepared and start 24 hours in advance. Bring a pot, find the nearest water source (a stream, pump, or tap) and fill it so it covers your beans. You will need to soak the beans overnight before cooking. The next day the beans are ready to get stewing. The first hurdle is creating a heat source to cook your beans. We use a small charcoal burner to cook all our food, including beans. It does not have a heat regulator, so when it gets too hot you just need to remove the beans so they don’t burn. Burnt beans are bad beans!
In a humungous pan, fry the chopped up onion, garlic, chilies, carrot, capsicum and spices in some oil, don’t add your beans yet! When the onion is translucent, you can start adding your chopped tomatoes, but still wait before adding your beans, be patient. Taste the soon-to-be-bean-stew and add more spices, if needed, or for garlic lovers slice a bulb of garlic horizontally and throw it in the pot.
At long last it’s time for the beans! Therefore add your beans to the tomato sauce and simmer for 2.5-3.5 hours. We haven’t mentioned it, but there is a very important Malawian ingredient to make the bean stew change from good to exceptional. It is Africa’s hottest peri-peri sauce and will make all your bean stew fantasies come true. Be sure to add just the right amount, as it is not for the faint hearted and could affect your beans and your bowels. Serve your beans with rice and a slice of avocado and papaya.