Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Rice and Beans

I’ve probably made about a million variations of rice and beans, it’s an easy meal to throw together at a moment’s notice, especially if you have some plain rice and beans cooked already.

I thought about this spiced rice and beans on a long exhausting ride home on one of those activity-filled unending summer days, we had nothing home except for leftover rice and a jar of black beans that was to go into a salad.

I’m particularly drawn to this kind of food whenever I’m little stressed or fatigued, perhaps it’s the turmeric, or maybe it’s because it’s filling and sates my hunger.

Spiced Rice and Beans Spiced Rice and Beans
Spiced Rice and Beans

I swear I think up the most scrumptious meals when I’m tired and hungry, on that journey I craved a simple and tasty dish that would also be satisfying and nourishing.

A modest of rice and beans enlivened with a melange of flavours and unique spices – rustic mustard seeds, fragrant coriander, warm and nutty cumin and earthy turmeric.

I tossed in a few vegetables and finished off with zesty lemon and cilantro.

Spiced Rice and Beans

Spiced Rice and Beans

It’s a great lunch or quick weeknight meals, or an awesome contribution to a potluck picnic, like the one I’m going to this long weekend, it makes a wonderful side-dish at summer barbeques.

There are a few ways to prepare it; when I have time to spare, I brown the rice with the sautéed spices and vegetables and cook it in vegetable broth, it takes more time but it’s so flavourful!

This is my ultimate comfort food!

Spiced Rice and Beans


Spiced Rice and Beans


  • 1 cup long-grain white or brown rice
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight – optional (or 1 16-oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Combine long-grain rice and wild rice, and rinse thoroughly. Add salt to taste and cook in a rice cooker per machine instructions or cook on stovetop using this guide
  2. Rinse and place beans in a heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan and cover with an inch and the half of water
  3. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil
  4. Let the beans boil for about 15 – 20 minutes
  5. Reduce heat and let beans simmer until they start to become tender, stir and taste occasionally
  6. When beans are tender, add salt to taste and cook until beans are as tender as you like them
  7. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saucepan
  8. When oil is hot, add mustard stir and cook for about a minute until seeds start popping
  9. Add cumin, turmeric, coriander and red pepper flakes and cook for another minutes until spices become fragrant
  10. Add garlic, onions and bell pepper and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until onions are softened
  11. Add cooked rice and drained black beans, cook for about 3 – 5 minutes stirring occasional to make sure it doesn’t burn
  12. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and cilantro
  13. Check seasoning and add salt to taste
  14. Let the rice and beans cook on low for another 2 – 3 minutes for the flavours to blend
  15. Sprinkle with more cilantro and serve with freshly ground black pepper
  16. Enjoy!


Spiced Rice and Beans

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  • Reply mukasechic

    This is making me hungry…i had always had the idea of making spiced waakye, i think this is it!

    27 August, 2014 at 1:31 am
    • Reply Elsa

      Oooh… I would love see that, and try it! 🙂

      27 August, 2014 at 11:27 am
  • Reply Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry

    Def pure comfort food Sierra Leone style. And as usual your pics are stunning.

    28 August, 2014 at 3:12 am
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