Heat the oil in a heavy based pot and add the onion, garlic and all the
spices. Stir for a couple of minutes until the onion becomes translucent
and the slightly browned.
Add the beans and cover with water. Don't add any salt (the salt will prevent the beans from softening). Cook the beans until
they are soft, about 40 minutes, adding boiling water if needed. After
about 30 minutes, take a bean from the pot and press between your
fingers, if it is soft, reduce the cooking time, if not- keep cooking.
What you want is a pot of soft, but not mush beans with a little liquid.
Now add the tomato paste, salt, sugar and vinegar and cook for another
3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust to your liking, adding more sugar or more
vinegar as required. The vinegar will thicken the beans slightly, but if
you feel your beans are too watery, take a potato masher and mash some
of them, it will help thicken the mixture more. Add the coconut
milk if you are using it.
Serve with poppadoms, chopped chillies, tomato and cucumber salad and a drizzle of coconut milk.
with permission of My Easy Cooking. To see more recipes, click here.