Maharagwe (Vegetables and Beans)

This is a traditional Burundian recipe for a classic stew of vegetables and beans with greens. Similar recipes are prepared in the Congo, Kenya, and Chad, sometimes with curry seasoning and turmeric.

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1 cup dried kidney beans (soaked overnight),

         or 1 (15-ounce) can cooked kidney beans, drained

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium-sized onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 cup canned diced tomato

½ cup white cabbage or spinach, shredded

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon allspice

1 can (13½ ounces) coconut milk

2 cups diced, peeled potato (3–4 small potatoes)

Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the beans overnight. When ready to cook, drain the soaked beans and place in a large pan. Cover with ample water, bring to a boil, and cook until soft (about 70 minutes). Drain beans when ready. (Skip this step if using canned beans: Drain canned beans use them as directed below.)

Add olive oil to the pan, heat, and fry the onions and garlic on medium heat until translucent. Add the beans, tomatoes, cabbage, and spices to the onion mixture, then gradually add the coconut milk and potatoes. Bring to a low simmer then cook for 15–25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, stirring frequently. Add water if needed, to keep the vegetables moist.

 Serve with steamed rice.

Yield: 4 generous servings