Side dishes are often overlooked, with focus given to the main event. Yet they can be fantastic in their own right, a true co-star instead of a supporting cast member.
Black bean coconut rice is just such a dish. It’s a superb companion for meals with a bit of a kick.
Black Bean Coconut Rice
This side dish can be made with 15-20 minutes to go before a main course is ready to be served. It is not time-consuming and can be easily integrated with cooking other dishes.
It goes especially well with marinated Peruvian pork. I decided to do the side dish separately though because it is great and goes well with other main courses.
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Container to soak beans
- 2 saucepans
- 2 pieces of kitchen towel
- Large plate
This recipe can be done using fresh black beans. They require soaking overnight and then simmering for an hour before use. I keep it simple for side dishes and go for a can of organic black beans to cut down on time. If you want to try it with fresh though, give it a shot.
- 2 x 400g canned organic black beans
- Or 400g fresh soaked black beans
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp cumin*
- 1 tsp chili powder*
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper*
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 red onion
- 250g Bismati rice
- Grated cheddar or mozzarella (optional)
* – these give the dish a kick, adjust for your personal tastes and the meal. If unsure, add less of each and extra if necessary after a quick taste test halfway through.
- Wash the rice with a colander under cold water. Set aside.
- Wash the colander (or use another one). Drain and rinse the black beans. Set aside.
- Chop the onion and garlic into small pieces.
- Fry in the onion and garlic pieces in a saucepan for 2mins.
- Add the coconut milk, black beans, all spice, chili and cumin powders to the saucepan.
- Simmer for 12-14 minutes, until the coconut milk starts to thicken. Stir occasionally.
- Whilst the beans are simmering, add rice and enough boiling water to go 2cm above the rice into another saucepan.
- Bring to the boil and cook for 3 mins.
- Take the rice off the heat, put some kitchen towel on top of the saucepan and weight this down with a large plate. Leave for 10 mins or until the rice is soft.
- Drain any excess water from the rice. Serve with the bean mixture.
The rice and black beans can be served separately or mixed up together. If serving with steaks, some grated cheese can be added to the top of the black beans.
Hints and Tips
- Once drained, the black beans can be smoked using cold smoking. It does extend the preparation time, but for pairing with rib-eye steaks it is worth doing.
- For healthy eating, use reduced fat coconut milk.