Considered to be an important crop throughout Africa, the Bambara bean - a chickpea-sized, hard, round seed - is able to withstand high temperatures and dry conditions. Here is a recipe which highlights just one of the many uses of this nut.
• Three to four red rocket chillies, chopped
• 200g romano peppers, deseeded and roasted, chopped
• 10g fresh thyme, chopped
• 300g of dried bambara beans (or chickpeas), drained
• One and a half red onions, finely chopped
• Half a teaspoon (2.5ml) of salt
• Olive oil, for drizzling
• 10cm of ginger, grated
• Half a tablespoon (2.5ml) of ground hot pepper or cayenne pepper or one small, red bird’s eye chilli, deseeded and diced
• Two garlic cloves, finely minced
• One tablespoon (15ml) of granulated or light brown sugar
• One litre of water (to cover)
1. Set the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
2. Put the red chillies, peppers and thyme on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with oil and roast for 25 minutes.
3. Put the beans in a heavy-based saucepan along with half the chopped onions and ½ teaspoon salt.
4. Cover with about 750ml water, then boil for two to three minutes while stirring occasionally.
5. Meanwhile, blitz the roasted peppers, chillies and thyme along with the ginger, pepper, garlic and remaining onions. Sieve the mixture to remove any bits, then add it to the pan of beans along with the sugar.
6. Turn down the heat on the beans and simmer for one to two hours, uncovered. Add a little extra water, as required, to prevent the beans from dehydrating.
7. When most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated, you should be left with a rich, creamy bean stew.
8. Adjust the seasoning to taste.Recipe by HSI / AfricaMore Green Monday SA recipes.