Thursday, May 23, 2013

Black-Eyed Beans with Mushrooms - IHCC Potluck

I'm a big fan of Yotam Ottolenghi so when I discovered that I Heart Cooking Clubs was featuring this chef for 6 months, I decided to join in. I'm a little late to the party as they started back in April, but there's still plenty of cooking to be done.
Black-Eyed Beans with Mushrooms
The theme for this week is potluck....we have the choice of cooking any Ottolenghi recipe or one from a former featured chef. I decided to cook from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking. Both chef and book are new to me as is the cuisine. 
This dish ended up being a great introduction to Indian food: the ingredients were familiar but the flavour was slightly exotic (for us). The black eyed beans - or peas as they're known here - and the spiced mushroom-tomato mixture were initially cooked separately, then combined and cooked some more so the dish did take some time to prepare.

mushroom-tomato mixture
I reduced the amount of oil and salt, which worked out very well. The flavours of the aromatics and spices were beautifully melded once it was done, and the beans retained their sweetness. If I were to make another change to the recipe, it would be to add more cayenne pepper for extra heat.

Based on the photo in the book, I expected the dish to be a little drier; I didn't mind that it was stew-like since it meant there was more of the delicious sauce to mop up with the Cumin-Flecked Skillet Breads I made. 

Cumin-Flecked Skillet Bread
Indian bread was one of the suggested accompaniments so I looked to Mangoes & Curry Leaves (Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid) for a recipe.
Much as I love these authors and their books, I could have used a little more guidance than they provided in making these breads. Was the dough made with atta flour supposed to be that soft?? Were the breads supposed to be chewy?? They were fun and easy to make and very tasty so I don't suppose it mattered in the end!


  1. I agree. Extra sauce isn't a bad thing at all!

  2. I love Indian food and make it A LOT...MJ is one of my glad you enjoyed it and hope you will be cooking more!

  3. Very nice choice for a potluck! It looks delicious, and we love more gravy in my house! I love Indian food and Madhur Jaffrey's recipes! Especially her meat curries!
    Nice to meet you thru IHCC!

  4. Yum! I'm a fan of saucy dishes that one can mop up with bread ... Madhur Jaffrey is the chef that introduced me to Indian fare ... she is a goddess in my eyes! You have chosen a great dish to share! Glad to see you joining the IHCC! The more the merrier!

  5. So nice to have you join the fun over at IHCC! You chose a very pretty dish for your first go around. I love a good saucy meal served with bread for dipping/dunking. The cumin flecked flatbread are really stealing the show for me right now. I'd venture you say you nailed the recipe because they look perfect to me!

    P.S. I love Madhur Jaffrey's recipes, but I did always find that her recipes called for way too much oil. It's probably safe to say that I always cut the amount of oil in half (or even more in some cases).

    Glad to have you join us!

  6. Welcome to IHCC, Zosia - so lovely to have you cooking with us. This was a great choice for your first dish - Madhur Jaffrey was a big hit with most of us, and I know I loved so many of her recipes. This is one I hadn't discovered, so I'm very keen to give it a try - and a little too much sauce can only be seen as a bonus in my opinion. As for your flatbread they look gorgeous. I actually have that book, and haven't tried this recipe, but I'm definitely going to check it out now.

  7. So glad you are cooking along with us! Madhur Jaffrey is a favorite of mine too. I am with Kim though--I usually cut much of the oil/butter from her recipes. ;-) This looks like such a hearty and comforting dish--great pick!


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