Will was out of town for a few days, so obviously I was left alone to cook. However, I have to say that I am quite proud of myself for selecting recipes that a) I could handle and b) were delicious! The first of that series of recipes is this Tanzanian Milk Beans recipe. Similar to Tanzanian Chick Peas in Coconut Milk (and actually off the same page in the same cookbook), this was ready in about 20 minutes and apparently foolproof enough for me to cook! I even managed to get my rice to cook in a timely and proper manner AND cut half an onion with (too much) crying. So basically this recipe was a huge success for me and the best part was having the leftovers long enough for Will to taste and be impressed by!

Cooking Notes: The recipe only called for 1 cup of tomatoes, but I went ahead and threw the whole can in. It also recommends using pinto, kidney or any other beans for this recipe, so I decided on red kidney beans. The recipe also suggested picking one or two of the spices, but I love a lot of flavor, so I went for the big shebang and used all of them that it suggested!

Tanzanian Milk and Beans (adapted from Extending the Table; serves 4)
1/2 cup rice
1 cup onions, chopped
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, not fully drained
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. curry powder
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

Begin boiling 1 cup water for rice in one pot and warming about 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan. When water is boiling, add 1/2 cup rice, stir, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 10-12 minutes (fluff and remove from heat when there’s not water left in the bottom). Then test oil with a piece of onion. If it sizzles, add all the onions, sauteing for 2-3 minutes before adding tomatoes. Stir and saute for another 2-3 minutes, allowing juice from the tomatoes to bubble.

Next add the kidney beans, along with a little bit of liquid from the can, milk, salt, and a few cranks of black pepper. Stir to mix well, then add the other spices, stirring in evenly. Bring everything to boil before reducing heat and simmering for 15-20 minutes, blending flavors. The mixture will thicken and when it looks ready, serve it over your rice!

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