R n B Episode 5: African Rice and Beans

African cuisine has come a long way. As with most economically struggling cultures, the cook had to put their soul into the dish they were preparing as it was a case of using whatever they had on offer, rice and beans of course being a staple of so many Countries. In modern times however, with the inclusion and heavy influence of foreign imported spices, African cooking has really come into its own. African soul food has never tasted so good and this Rice and Beans recipe is everything I love about food! Smoky flavour, slow stewed veg and it’s spicy, REALLY spicy.

I love the idea of slow cooking vegetables in a rich, tomato paste. Take your time with this and the results are amazing and SO easy to produce.

This is the perfect vegan, midweek meal – easy, complete protein, tasty and filling.

I don’t really have much more to say about this one other than it has become a weekly meal in my house. It will for you too….

African RnB Top

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper (capsicum), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon (more if you are not a weakling) cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 3- 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
  • 2 400g canned beans, drained and rinsed (I used cannellini)
  • Salt and Pepper

African RnB Side

African RnB Other

Cook it:

  1. Heat a large sauté pan/casserole dish over medium heat
  2. Add the oil
  3. Add the onions and peppers and fry for 5 minutes
  4. Add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes
  5. Make a whole in the middle of the pan and add the tomato paste. Fry for a few seconds and then fold all the veg into the paste and stir well to ensure all the veg is coated
  6. Lower the heat to as low as it can go and fry for 15 minutes, stirring regularly
  7. Add the rice and beans and stir
  8. Add the spices and REALLY stir
  9. Add the chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil then turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring regularly
  10. Season with salt and pepper (taste it to make sure you have it right) and serve
  11. Get it into ya!

Recommended Tunes:

Rodriguez - Cold Fact

Rodriguez “Cold Fact”

If you have never seen the documentary “Searching For Sugar Man”, stop reading this, go and buy it and watch it now. It is hands down the best music documentary ever, if not the best documentary ever!

However, it wouldn’t mean anything if it were not based on the life and times of one of the great songwriters, Sixto Rodriguez. The guy just KNEW how to write a tune.

Listen – but do yourself a favour and buy it on vinyl!!

The spottily link is not working so just go and buy it!

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