Black bean curry

Of all the beans I got introduced to after moving to US (and wow, isn't there a variety!) black beans are the ones I got adapted to most easily. Black beans are sure an integral part of the Mexican cuisine but their hardy taste and pair-ability with many spices makes them an ideal bean to be experimenting with. In particular, over the years of cooking with black beans I have realized that black beans and dried oregano is a match made in heaven! I always keep a bottle of dried oregano in my pantry just for the black beans :)

This black bean curry was born out of necessity (don't they always say necessity is the mother of invention ;)). One day all I had was a can of black beans and a few tomatoes at home so I made a quick black bean saute with onions-garlic-tomatoes and it was a big hit with both of us. Over the years I have tuned this recipe in more ways than one. It still remains my go-to recipe when I have 20-mins or less to bring something to table. Incidently, believe it or not this curry pairs extremely well with Injeras! Marriage of two vastly differently cuisines indeed.. if ever you do have some extra injeras lying around, do make this curry with some misir wot and I guarantee it will be a meal you will remember ;)
Recipe: Serves 2/3
1 15oz can black beans (or soaked and cooked)
1/2 large onion - finely chopped
2 small green chilis - finely sliced
2 large cloves of garlic - smashed
2 tomatoes - finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper - finely chopped (optional)
water (1/2 to 1C - depending on how liquid you want the gravy to be)
1/4tsp cumin powder
pinch of dried oregano
cilantro for garnish
2tsp olive oil

*** The curry will still taste good if you skip the oregano; but do try it with oregano if you have some at hand.  Oregano elevates this simple black bean curry to something very very delicious. Sprinkle with lemon juice at the end, if you do skip oregano.
  1. Saute onions, red pepper (if using) and green chili in olive oil over medium heat.
  2. When the onions are tender add garlic and saute a couple of minutes until aromatic.
  3. Then add tomatoes and saute until tomatoes start to fall apart.
  4. Add black beans and enough water to make the desired curry consistency.
  5. Add cumin powder, oregano and salt.
  6. Let simmer for 10mins or so until the gravy has thickened a bit.
  7. Remove from heat; garnish with cilantro.
  8. Serve with hot corn tortillas or some freshly made cilantro rice.