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Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Food, Recipes, Various, Soups | 0 comments

Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Dahl

Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Dahl

There is cold front moving in, and I’ve been craving some hot, hearty, black bean soup.

What? Another black bean recipe? Is Vida cheating? 

tastingI am all about efficiency. If cooking beans took an overnight soak, and at least, 1.5 hours of slow cooking, damn right! I’d capitalize and prepare a huge batch. Plus, all it takes is a different set of spices to refashion the entire ingredient.

Where yesterday’s Simply Black Beans recipe utilized the more tried-and-tested traditional spices, today’s is rather an interesting and exciting combination of ingredients. It has more of a creamy dhal texture than a soup, and tasted so great that 1/4 of the batch was taste-tested and didn’t quite make it to the dinner table….<ahem>.
I made a slightly different version of this recipe the following week and you may want to take a look at it, here.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 lb dried black beans (~ 2 cups)- soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 medium sweet potato (~8-10 oz)
  • 1 lrg onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 lrg cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs molasses
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp each black pepper & salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • oil

Optional Fixins:

  • milk, coconut milk, or half & half.

Time~     1.5 hrs


  1. In a medium-large sized pot, cover beans with enough water (an inch above the beans). Add salt, baking soda and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to med-low, cover and cook for at least ~ 1.5 hrs or ’till beans are tender.  Skim off any white foam.
  2. Pierce the sweet potato with a fork a couple of times. Place in an oven-safe dish and bake  for 1.5 hrs at 350 Fahrenheit ( or 1 hr @ 400 degrees). Allow to cool & Slice.
  3. Meanwhile, saute the onion, in a large frying pan, in enough oil ’till lightly browned and softened (~ 10 min). Add the garlic and continue for a bit longer ( ~2 min.)
  4. Reduce heat to medium, add the cumin and chili powder. Stir ’till fragrant (~ 1 min). Add more oil if needed. Set aside.
  5. Once the beans are cooked, remove bay leaves. Add in the sauteed mixture and sliced sweet potato and the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Puree with a hand blender or food processor. Add more water if necessary.
  7. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for ~5-10 min.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning. More heat? More sweetness?
  9. The soup may continue to thicken. If you prefer it thinner, add some water/milk. For a creamier texture add coconut milk or half & half or whip cream.

Garnish with diced avocados, green onion or swirls of molasses.
Ladle over rice or enjoy is as a soup.

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