Nigerian greens and beans (green amaranth)
Nigerian greens and beans is a healthy nutrient dense combination of greens and beans. Green in Nigeria is the green amaranth. The addition of greens to beans makes a delicious and comforting dish that is low in calories but very filling. This dish is easy to cook and the beans can be cooked ahead and stored until needed.
Nigerian greens and beans is ideal for vegetarians and weight watchers. It is low in calories and cholesterol and can be served as a main dish with fried or boiled plantains, as a side for rice, bread etc. It can also be used as a filling for Empanada or eaten on its own or with the Nigerian tomato stew.
Any type of beans can be used for this dish, white, brown, black etc. I prefer to use white (black-eyed bean), it lets the flavour of the green amaranth come through. Also, I like the colour contrast of green and white with bits of red from the tomatoes and pepper. You can even use canned beans, just rinse the beans before using.
If beans give you gas, here is How to remove gas from beans. Click to know 18 amazing health benefits of green amaranth leaves.
To prepare Nigerian greens and beans
1 cup beans (black eyed beans) 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 small onion (1/4 cup chopped) 2 scotch bonnet (fresh pepper) 4 small whole tomatoes (1 cup chopped) small scent leaf (10-15 leaves)* 1 seasoning cube salt
*Replace scent leaf with any herb of your choice.
Pick through the beans, wash and place beans in a pot.
Add a few slices of the onions and enough water to cover it well.
Boil over medium high heat adding water a little at a time until beans is tender but not breaking apart.
There shouldn’t be much water remaining at the stage when the beans is tender so be careful when adding extra water. If there is still water, drain and set aside.
While the beans is cooking, pick and wash greens and scent leaf.
Shred each finely and set aside.
Chop onions and pepper then chop tomatoes into large chunks.
In a dry saucepan or pot, pour vegetable oil and when hot, add onions and salt, fry until soft.
Add pepper and tomato, add scent leaves and cook until scent leaf has wilted and tomato has softened.
Add seasoning cube and beans, stir well.
Add greens and 2 tablespoons of the beans cooking liquid, cover and lower the heat.
Cook for about 3 minutes, stir gently and cover.
Continue cooking until greens have softened but not mushy about 5-10 minutes.
Serve your very comforting and healthy Nigerian Greens and beans.
- Ground crayfish can be added to it.
- If you want your beans very soft yet not broken up and mushy, add some akanwu (Kaun), boil for 5 minutes and take off the heat. Drain the water out and add fresh water, cook as usual.
- Beans contain a poisonous plant lectin, so always boil beans well, even if you want to use a slow cooker, be sure to bring it to a boil and boil for a minimum of 10 minutes before reducing the heat.
- You can use a pressure pot to cook your beans to cut down on cooking time.
If you enjoyed my Nigerian greens and Beans, you will also enjoy my Nigerian Beans Porridge, Potato and green vegetable balls, Nigerian refried beans, Adalu (Beans and corn porridge), Fiofio pigeon peas.
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