Masala-Spiced Adzuki Beans and Brown Rice

Masala-Spiced Adzuki Beans and Brown Rice
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rice dishThis dish is likely the most complex recipe I’ve made recently, just because of the myriad of spices, but don’t let that deter you. Once you throw everything together to simmer, it’s a pretty simple dish.

You could use a variety of beans for this recipe, but I like adzuki beans because they cook up relatively quickly and are very easy to digest. They’re slightly sweet, often used in sweet treats in Asian cuisine, which pairs well with the garam masala and cayenne. This dish also packs a good amount of fiber and protein. It just also happens to be vegan and gluten, dairy, and corn-free.

A quick word about kombu. Kombu is a variety of dried seaweed often used to make dashi, and can be found in the Asian section of groceries or at a specialty store, or online. What I love about kombu is that when simmered with beans, it improves their digestibility and lessens the (ahem) side effects. It also works as a flavor enhancer, adding a bit of umami to the dish. If you haven’t had the chance to cook with it, give it a try. Same with this twist on the good ‘ol standby – beans and rice. You might be pleasantly surprised on how delicious healthy can taste!

Masala-Spiced Adzuki Beans and Brown Rice

1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh turmeric, minced (can substitute dried)
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 cup adzuki beans, soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed
1 piece kombu
3 c water
Salt to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup brown rice, rinsed and steamed

Place garam masala, cumin seeds, and cayenne in dry skillet and toast over medium heat until fragrant. (Be careful not to burn!) Remove and crush/grind with a mortar and pestle.

Add olive oil to a large saucepan or dutch oven and bring to medium heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add toasted spices, ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute. Add squash, beans, kombu, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, and cook for 1 hour or until beans are tender. Season with salt generously to taste. Serve with brown rice and garnished with cilantro.

Serves 3-4.

More you might like:
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Wild Rice and Apples


About The Author

Alta Mantsch is a recipe writer, amateur food photographer, and self-proclaimed, self-taught, home-chef-in-training. She lives in Texas and blogs about food over at Tasty Eats at Home.

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