Polenta and Beans

A simple recipe from Tanzania: a polenta-like porridge served with mildly spiced red beans.
Yield 4 servings
Time 45 minutes
  • large saucepan
  • frying pan
  • wooden spoon
  • 4 shallow bowls
  • 10 oz water
  • ½ t salt
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 t turmeric
  • 1 c coconut milk
  • 1¾ c kidney beans, soaked and cooked or canned and drained
  • 1 c corn meal
Directions Place water and salt in saucepan over high heat.

Meanwhile, heat oil in frying pan over high heat, add onions, and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to color, about 3 minutes. Add turmeric and cook another 2 minutes. Add coconut milk, bring to a boil, add beans, and simmer for 10 minutes.

When the water is boiling, slowly pour in cornmeal, sitrring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the polenta thickens and starts pulling away from the sides of the pan.

Divide the polenta between the bowls, forming it into soft mounds. Spoon the beans around the polenta and serve immediately.

Notes In Tanzania, polenta is called "ugali" and is traditionally eaten with the hands, by rolling bits of it into balls and then pressing them with the thumbs to form makeshift, edible spoons.

VeganAdapted from Amanda Grant’s Fresh and Fast Veganread my review.

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Polenta and beans