African Beans Recipes
Beans (legumes or pulses) are a main staple throughout Africa. The warm temperate climate makes it easy to grow them and most subsistence farmers always includes beans in their seasonal crops.Many varieties are available throughout Africa including black eyed peas (black eyed beans), lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans, navy beans, soy beans, kidney beans, lima beans, broad beans, and mung beans and many other varieties depending on the region.
Peas, also in the pulse family, are also used in a similar way as beans in many vegetarian and meat recipes.
Beans are an important source of protein for many African families because meat is scarce in some areas or is often too expensive for daily consumption. This has created a wide variety of African beans recipes that are delicious and often prepared to maximize their nutritional value.
Preparing beans for cooking in Africa takes a little time and patience. Canned beans are rarely purchased, instead the beans are soaked for several hours before cooking and then cooked on low heat until they are tender. This retains the B vitamins, which are easily lost when you drain the liquid you use to cook the beans. Sometimes the beans are eaten as is, but it is more common to season them with herbs or spices.
Each region has its own specialties but there are some similarities in seasonings and preparation methods.
In Ethiopia, lentils are present at almost every meal and their recipe for Mesir Wat (lentil stew) is an example of a well seasoned and flavorful side dish. It is often served with Injera, a sour crepe like flat bread.
In Morocco, you can buy spiced lentil soups from soup vendors on the streets or at food markets. Our recipe is one you have to try, its so delicious!
The secret to making fantastic African beans recipes is to use home soaked beans, the flavors are completely different and they are worth the time and effort. Kidney beans and pinto beans are probably the most used in African recipes. You will find them in almost every pantry. They offer B vitamins, lots of fiber, healthy vegetable protein and iron. If you are looking for a good kidney or pinto bean recipe, the Kenyan Bean Stew is a one great option. For a simple chickpea recipe you could try our Chickpea Curry.
Below are a list of our favorite African beans recipes. They are healthy, full of flavor and take little time to make. If you are short on time, you can substitute soaked beans for canned ones, but we recommend using soaked beans, they always taste better and offer better nutrients which are lost during processing.
Akara Fritters are a West African appetizer made from black eyed peas, which are also known as black eyed beans. They are the most flavorful fritters out there!
Blackeyed Bean Soup
This flavorful and easy Blackeyed Bean Soup recipe uses West African flavors and ingredients. It is a healthy gluten free recipe that takes very little time to prepare.
This delicious recipe for an East African curry dish is a perfect fit for curry lovers or vegetarians alike. Cooked in a simple curry base it is bursting with flavor!
Ethiopian Lentil Stew
This lentil recipe was created for lent days when meat is not eaten in Ethiopia. Using simple ingredients and Ethiopian flavors this recipe is one worth making!
Kenyan Bean Stew
There are many Kenyan bean stew recipes but this one's super easy to make and can be eaten as a side dish or a main dish. The recipe uses kidney beans but you can also use pinto beans as well.
Mung Bean Curry
Our Mung Bean Curry recipe is so flavorful! You can serve this recipe on steamed brown or white rice. Or it can be Blended into a thick rich soup.
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with our African Beans Recipes