Slow cooked canary bean and moong dal

canary beans and moong dal

I’ve been feverishly cooking my way through all the veg from the CSA this week. I was a veritable tasmanian devil of vegetable preparation. I paused for a moment, to peer in my vegetable drawer, and…it’s almost gone! Just a head of lettuce left! So I decided to take a day off from primarily-vegetable-meals and cook some beans. I generally use canned beans, to my eternal shame. They’re just so easy, and cheap, and good quality canned beans taste fine to me! But I bought some beautiful pale yellow dried canary beans, and I wanted to cook them up. I’m a big fan of any dish that combines lentils with larger beans. Like urad dal & kidney beans in dal makhani, for instance, so I decided to make a variation on that. I used canary beans and whole moong dal. Both so pretty uncooked, and so drab when cooked! You could use any slow-cooking lentil (whole moong dal and whole urad dal are the two I know of) and any larger, firmer bean that you like (kidney and navy being two contestants). If you used a quicker-cooking lentil, it would just get softer and mushier, but that’s not a bad thing, because it becomes part of the sauce the beans sit it. I decided to flavor the beans with cardamom and smoked paprika. It all started the night before, when I simmered some bok choy with these particular spices and then topped it with peanuts. Baby, it was so nice, I wanted to do it twice! Ahem, my train of thought seems to be derailed at the moment, so I’ll just get on with the recipes, shall I?

Bok choy & peanuts

Here’s Howlin Wolf, Goin Down Slow.

Slow cooker beans and moong dal
1 cup dried canary beans
1 cup dried whole moong dal
2 T olive oil
1 shallot – minced
1 garlic scape or one clove garlic – chopped
1 t smoked paprika
1 t cardamom
1/2 t fenugreek
1/2 t ginger
pinch cayenne
3 T butter
2 – 3 cups broth or water
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
juice of half a lemon
salt and plenty of pepper
fresh basil, chopped

Rinse the beans and dal. Put them in a pot with enough water to cover by a few inches. Bring them to a boil, then turn off the heat and let them sit at least an hour. Then drain them.

In a large frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and the garlic scape or garlic. Cook till the garlic starts to brown. Add the beans and dal, stir till they’re nicely coated with oil and starting to get sizzly. Add the spices, and then immediately add 2 – 3 cups broth or water. (You don’t want the spices to burn). Stir, bring to a boil, then take off the heat. Add the tomatoes and butter, and 1/2 t salt.

Transfer to your slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for about 4 hours, till the canary beans are soft but not mushy. Squeeze in some lemon juice, taste for salt, add plenty of pepper. Chop a small handful of fresh basil and stir that in.

Bok Choy simmered with paprika and caradmom, topped with peanuts.

One small bunch bok choy – cleaned, trimmed, and roughly chopped
1 T olive oil
1 garlic scape, or one clove garlic – minced
red pepper flakes
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/4 t cardamom
handful of roasted peanuts
few leaves of fresh basil
salt & pepper

Warm the olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Add the garlic, and sautee till it’s just starting to brown. Add the spices, stir once, and then add 1/2 cup water. Add the bok choy. Simmer till the broth is reduced and the bok choy is wilted, but still quite bright. Transfer to a bowl, taste for salt add plenty of pepper, and top with peanuts and fresh basil.


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