I love fresh beans. They're versatile, inexpensive, and they feed a whole passel of people easily. What I don't like about beans is whenever I want beans it requires planning... and by planning I mean a long soaking. Therefore, by the time I'm ready to eat beans, I'm too lazy to do all the prep work necessary. Well, all that's out the window now that I've cooked Royal Corona Beans from Rancho Gordo in my slow cooker. I'd bought a bag of Royal Coronas at the Rancho Gordo store a couple of months ago purely because of the way they looked. Royal Coronas are huge white beans, and as I discovered, they get even bigger after cooking. Three times bigger to be exact. Two cups of dried Royal Coronas can easily feed 6 people at one meal, or two people for two days.
In planning how to prepare them, I decided to cook them the same way I do chole (garbanzo beans) as I thought the spices would be a great compliment to the creamy texture of these big beauties, but I was worried about timing. I didn't want to spend an entire bean-centric day. Steve Sando owner and founder of Rancho Gordo told me that if dried beans are truly fresh (and his are), long pre-soaking is not a must. One can go right to the cooking phase which is what I did. Skeptically, I must admit but as I discovered, Steve was right!
Four hours in a slow cooker in some water, softened these babies up perfectly so that they were ready for the final phase. In this case the final phase took about 20 minutes which is pretty dang good and fast for a dried bean recipe. In fact I put the beans and their cooking water into the fridge overnight and finished the dish quickly for lunch the next day using the spices from my trusty The Chaunk Box .So fire up your slow cooker for big juicy, creamy, Royal Coronas without a whole lot of preparation.
Royal Corona Masala
Here's What You Need:
2 Tbs vegetable oil (I use coconut oil )
2 cups of dried Rancho Gordo Royal Corona Beans
1 onion finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seed
4 tsps finely chopped fresh ginger
4 shallots chopped
2 serrano chilies minced
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
Here's What To Do:
Place 2 cups of dried Royal Corona beans in a slow cooker with 6 cups of water.
Turn the slow cooker up to high and let them simmer for about 4 hours. They'll swell up and get tender.
Drain the beans but save the water they've been cooked in as it contains a lot of the nutrients and you'll also be using it later in the recipe.
In a skillet or kadhai heat the vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot, add in the cumin seeds.
Once they start to sizzle (this is almost instantly) toss in the onion, shallot, ginger, salt, and green chilies.
Saute everything until the onion and shallot are cooked through and translucent.
Once the onions and shallot are soft, add in the garam masala, coriander, and turmeric.
Stir this mixture around for about 1 minute then add in the tomatoes
add the cooked Royal Coronas also.
These are big suckers! Stir them around well and make sure everything is well mixed and add in 1/2 cup of the saved bean water.
Bring the mixture to a simmer, and let it cook like that for about 20 minutes. The sauce will have thickened and the flavors blended.
Check the salt for seasoning and you can serve this over plain Basmati rice or on its own.
Top with a dab of yogurt to cut the heat, and drizzle with a bit of pomegranate molasses to highlight the sweet meatiness of the beans.
Top with a bit of chopped cilantro and that's it!
Letting the slow cooker do the work makes pulling this bean dish together quick and simple. Add a chapatti or dosa and that's all she wrote. I'm going to be cooking a lot more of these Royal Coronas as I think prepared in this manner they're a natural for Summer Cook outs.
Now that I've converted to this easy way of cooking the beans I want, when I want them, I'm going to be doing a lot more Indian translations of New World beans. Coming up next Seasonal Indian cooking and something new for Summer from The Chaunk follow along on Twitter @kathygori