You'Ve Got To Be Kidding Beans

Recipe: You’Ve Got To Be Kidding Beans


  • 1 1/3 cups small red beans (I’m sure red kidney beans would be fine)
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk and coarsely chopped
  • 5 pitted dried prunes
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 t tamarind concentrate
  • 1 t Chinese chili and garlic paste
  • 3/4 t coriander seeds
  • 1/4 t fenugreek
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro Red onion rings for garnish


  1. If not using a pressure cooker, soak beans overnight and drain. Combine onion, celery, carrots, and beans in a soup pot. Add enough water to cover beans by 3 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer till beans are tender but not mushy, approximately 55 minutes.
  2. If using a pressure cooker and non-soaked beans, bring beans and 4 cups of water to high pressure for 1 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Open, drain beans. Return beans to pressure cooker, add onions, celery, carrot, and 4 cups fressh water. Bring to high pressure for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, bring pot to sink and run under cold water to reduce pressure. Open and check beans to see if they are fully cooked. If not, simmer uncovered until done.
  3. Drain beans and remove onion, celery, and carrot. Meanwhile, combine prunes and balsamic vinegar in nonreactive pan and simmer for 15 minutes (don’t boil hard). Remove prunes and chop finely.
  4. Add prunes back to vinegar.
  5. Add tamarind concentrate and chili-garlic paste to prune-vinegar mixture. If working from whole fenugreek, grind in coffee grinder to powder. Lightly grind coriander seeds.
  6. Add both to vinegar mixture. Mix well. Combine beans and vinegar mixture. Chill for 2 hours. When ready to serve, mix in 1/4 cup cilantro and top with sliced red onion.

Number of servings (yield): 4

Meal type: dinner

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

My rating: 4 stars:  ★★★★☆ 1 review(s)