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Congolese Beans and Rice

As Constance Kabaziga, from Kinshasa, Congo, taught Lindsay Sterling in Portland, ME, June 2010

Serves 6

1 pound bag red beans (any kind will work)
1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 green pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 nutmeg nut
3 bay leaves
1 tsp garlic salt
2 c. rice
4 green bananas

1. Pre-cook beans.
Look beans over for stones in a sheet pan. Soak beans for 8 hours or over night in water. Simmer covered in water until soft, about 40 min. Strain and cool in a medium saute pan until you are ready to make the sauce.
2. Make bean sauce.
In another medium saute pan, fry onions in oil on medium high heat. When onions are tralsulcent, add green pepper. After another minute, add tomato paste, stir and watch the oil turn red. Add enough water to make a sauce out of the thick stuff in the pan. Cook for about five minutes. Rub a nutmeg nut vigorously back and forth on a fine metal grater over the sauce pan for 20 seconds. Add 1 tsp salt. Add some more water so the sauce is not watery, but not thick either. When the vegetables have dissapeared, pour it into the beans.
3. Cook beans in sauce, and rice and bananas.
Cook beans on medium covered for about thirty minutes with added bay leaves, stirring every once in a while. Cook rice as you usually would. Wash bananas, keeping skins on, boil whole until skins split, then remove skin and slice into pieces.
4. Serve beans and bananas on top of rice, or gently mixed together.
Really great with hot sauce.
copyright 2010 Lindsay Sterling
email the author with questions or comments about this recipe: lindsay@lindsaysterling.com