Black Beans in Spicy Tamarind Sauce

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Title: Black Beans in Spicy Tamarind Sauce
Yield: 1 Servings
Categories: Indian, Vegetables


2 c Mexican black beans
2 cc Tamarind pulp (see note)
1/3 c Peanut oil
2 Onions, chopped
2 tb Grated fresh ginger
2 tb Minced garlic
1 ts Powdered hot red chile
1 ts Freshly ground cumin
1/2 ts Turmeric
1 lg Ripe tomato, finely chopped
2 ts Ground roasted cumin seeds
1 ts Garam masala
Salt to taste
1 c Chopped cilantro leaves

Pick over and wash the beans. Soak them overnight in cold water to

Soak the tamarind pulp in 2 cups hot water in a nonmetallic bowl for
at least 1 hour. Squeeze the pulp with fingers to extract as much
juice as possible. Strain, pressing the pulp. Discard the residue
and reserve the strained juice and pulp.

Heat the oil in a heavy, shallow pan. Add the onions and cook,
stirring frequently, until they turn almost reddish brown, 10 to 12
minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 5 minutes longer,
stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the
chile pepper, cumin and turmeric, and cook for 10 or 15 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes and let them cook until they form a sauce and
fat separates out.

Drain the beans and add to the pan along with 2 cups water. Cover and
simmer until the beans are almost done. Check the water level from
time to time, and if the b@beans look dry, add small amounts of hot

When the beans have finished cooking, there should be plenty of
sauce. Stir in the tamarind, cover and simmer until the beans are
very tender. Stir in the roasted cumin seeds, garam masala, salt and
1/2 cup of the cilantro leaves. Cover the pan and let rest for at
least 10 minutes. Reheat and serve garnished with remaining cilantro

NOTE: Tamarind is available in cake form at Indian markets.

Adapted from Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Cooking."

From San Francisco Chronicle, 12/7/88.

Posted by Stephen Ceideburg