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.
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.
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 sautÃ©ed 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
- 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
- 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
- Rinse and place beans in a heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan and cover with an inch and the half of water
- Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil
- Let the beans boil for about 15 – 20 minutes
- Reduce heat and let beans simmer until they start to become tender, stir and taste occasionally
- When beans are tender, add salt to taste and cook until beans are as tender as you like them
- Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saucepan
- When oil is hot, add mustard stir and cook for about a minute until seeds start popping
- Add cumin, turmeric, coriander and red pepper flakes and cook for another minutes until spices become fragrant
- Add garlic, onions and bell pepper and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until onions are softened
- Add cooked rice and drained black beans, cook for about 3 – 5 minutes stirring occasional to make sure it doesn’t burn
- Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and cilantro
- Check seasoning and add salt to taste
- Let the rice and beans cook on low for another 2 – 3 minutes for the flavours to blend
- Sprinkle with more cilantro and serve with freshly ground black pepper