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Want to add a little spice to dinner? Try this hearty, Tai inspired recipe: A spin on the old beans and rice theme. It’s a flash in the pan – Colorful and aromatic – Special enough for intimate dinners or casual affairs. habanero mounding the rice old beans rice saucepan with lid spicy dinner A cross between a stew and a pasta dish. We suggest the addition of low-calorie ingredients, such as sauteed onions (cooked on high heat in a skillet, in a few drops of oil and then a bit of water once they are limp), or dollop of fat-free sour cream.

Ingredients :

1 cutting board
1 sharp paring knife
1 large utility bowl for soaking the vegetables
1 wooden spoon or other stirring implement
1 wok or large heavy bottomed skillet with lid
1 heavy saucepan with lid
1 ladle for serving
A deep dish platter or individual bowls for serving
1 ramekin or small cup for mounding the rice

Instructions :

Begin by draining the black beans or, if canned beans are being used, rinse well and allow to drain.

Rinse and slice all vegetables (Szechuan-style/almost Julienne) except snow peas into thin strips. To ensure even cooking, crop to an average length and set aside.

Bring Basmati rice to a boil in 3 cups of water with a pinch of salt added. Lower heat and allow rice to continue slowly cooking. Stir occasionally until all liquid is absorbed. Note that other rice may be substituted but Basmati rice has a rich and almost-buttery flavor without adding fat or dairy.

In a wok or large, heavy-bottomed skillet, bring 4 Tablespoons of peanut oil to temperature over high heat.

Add garlic, hot peppers, and half the red curry paste, stirring constantly and quickly to avoid scorching.

When garlic begins to caramelize, add the beans, carrot and sweet potato strips. Lower the heat to medium high and add a splash of dark soy sauce. Stir to coat and cover.

Allow to steam, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. It is also important to remember not to overcook the vegetables. You want them to be crisp tender, retaining all of the nutrients and fresh flavor.

Add the rest of the vegetables, the remainder of the curry paste, and half of the fresh basil. Taste for salt and adjust to personal preference. Continue stir-frying until vegetables reach the desired degree of dourness (usually as the colors begin to brighten.).
Remove vegetables from heat and allow to stand aside.

Add coconut milk and the rest of the basil, bringing to temperature rather quickly. Do not over cook or boil. The sauce will break.

Remove from heat and add the vegetables back into the sauce. Turn to coat.

Ladle vegetables and broth into serving bowls with a generous amount of broth. Top each plate with a mound of rice.

Garnish with lime wedges and basil. Serve and enjoy!


1 ½ cups Basmati rice

2 Onions

4 Cloves of garlic

1 Green or red bell pepper

3 Carrots

4 Leeks

2 Sweet potatoes

1 lb. dry black beans,soaked overnight and cooked until tender (1 16oz can of black beans may be substituted)

2 Jalapenos,tai,habanero,or other hot pepper (optional)

1 Can tomato paste

A Splash of dark soy sauce (optional)

4-6 Tablespoons of red curry paste

1 Can coconut milk,1 Healthy bunch of fresh sweet basil – Sliced to ribbons with a few reserved for garnish.

2 – 4 Tablespoons peanut oil (for stir frying),

2 limes-Cut in wedges with 1 lb. black beans

Approximately 60 minutes – soaked and cooked until tender.Serve 4-6

TaiTai is wonderful accompanied by Sapporo or any other dry, light beer. If wine is preferred, I suggest a drier, slightly tart vintage to balance the spiciness of the dish and enhance the flavors.

Sharmin Begum

The author Sharmin Begum

I have loved spicy food, Mexican in particular, since I was a child as my father was from El Paso where I acquired a taste for it on our many visits. I have cooked Tex-Mex all my adult life, but about 7 years ago I began cooking authentic Mexican food using my own ingredients and making my own tortillas, tamales, etc. On one of my visits to NM I attended the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta and took some excellent cooking classes at the Santa Fe Cooking School and the Old Mexico Grill. I love New Mexican food equally as well as Mexican.

I also grow my own chile peppers, tomatillos, and herbs like cilantro and epazote because they are not available locally.

I got into web publishing because I enjoy “meeting” fellow Chile-heads from all over the world and sharing my passion with them.

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