Kaluhi's Kitchen

Life. Love. Food

All-Kenyan Bean Stew

In my country, the foods served are pretty stream lined. Kenyans have a very clear idea about what they like to eat all the time, and what they prefer not to have. This can be a really good thing and a really bad thing. One of the many foods that are really popular in Kenyan cuisine are bean stew and chapati. Some people also love to have the bean stew with some rice and at times some ugali. Today, I decided to add my own twist to this Kenyan favorite which takes it up a notch.

I boiled my beans with whole cumin seeds, garlic cloves and ginger root. This gave the individual beans character and a fabulous depth of flavor. It was made even more special using thick tomato sauce, amazing taste of red onion  richness of bell papers, and texture of carrot.

Prepare to be taken to cloud 9!

All kenyan bean stew_kaluhis kitchen

Ingredients for the bean stew

Bean stew ingredients_kaluhi_S kITCHEN

1 1/2 cup of beans

2 tablespoons of whole cumin seeds

6 cloves of minced garlic

Thumb sized  ginger root, minced

3 tomatoes, pureed

3 tablespoons of tomato paste

Red onion, minced

2 tablespoon of royco all spice mix

2 tablespoons of ground cumin

1 tablespoon of black pepper

2 finely chopped green bell pepper

Coriander for garnish, finely chopped

Method for the bean stew preparation

Soak your beans for about an hour. Put them to boil together with your minced garlic, minced ginger and whole cumin seeds. This is an important step as it will infuse the flavor into the beans. Save half of your garlic for the frying process. Besides the flavor, cumin seeds have plenty of health benefits. You can also check out the health benefits of ginger here, and of garlic here.

boiling beans with ginger, garlic and cumin seeds for the bean stew

After you have boiled the beans, drain the excess water and set them aside.

In a separate sufuria, put your onions to fry with the remaining garlic, until they are soft. Be careful not to burn the garlic as it will make the whole dish bitter.

onion saute with ground cumin, black pepper and garlic for bean stew

Add your tomatoes and mix them in with your tomatoes. Then add the tomato paste   and allow this to simmer for about 3 minutes.

tomato reduction with tomato past for bean stew

Add your beans and mix them in. Put your royco, black pepper, ground cumin and some salt in a cup with some hot water and mix them into a thick paste.  Add your beans to the tomatoes together with the carrots. Dice your carrots really small almost the size as your beans. This makes them not only get cooked faster but makes the dish look a lot neater. We eat with our eyes first anyway :).

soaking beans for bean stew and having carrots that are small

Add water for the stew bit by bit, until you get the right thick consistency. Never EVER add water in large amount as this will dilute the casserole and make it unpalletably light. Always add bit by bit (preferably half a cup at a time) so that you stop when it is thick enough. After about 5 minutes of adding your carrots, add your finely chopped bell pepper (which should also be finely chopped). The reason for adding them at this point is so that they retain their texture and colour and their flavor remains retained long after serving. Allow this to stay on the heat for about 5 minutes them serve.

green bell pepper with bean stew is a good combination

I can guarantee you that this is so tasty, you will be having beans all day, every day.

kenyan been stew laddled in a bowl

The beauty about cooking is that you can always transform everyday meals into a feast! These are everyday beans with a delicious gourmet twist. Always go a step further, add more flavor and make every meal truly unforgettable. This bean stew will take you to another dimension!! No jokes!

all kenyan bean stew. kenyan food. east african food

Give this a try and tell me what you think 🙂



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  1. So I just made this for dinner tonight, and I love it! I love beans already and always wanted to know how to make a thick enough stew like my mum does… N here is it, thanks again:)

  2. i just prepared this for my fiancee and i cannt say how much it saved me…… thanks

    • kaluhiskitchen

      March 2, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      That is so good to know! I am glad you both enjoyed this and thanks for giving this a try :))

  3. woow, I am going to try this. sounds and looks delish

  4. Just made this for lunch and l love it:)))))

  5. Thank you so mch Kaluhi, Just tried this for dinner and it is tasty tasty tasty! I love it!

  6. I made this and oooh my taste buds!!! Love it so much!!! Very delicious. Asante

  7. I tried this.. The meal was transformed to a feast.. So delicious it was.. Thank you so much 😊

  8. I just made this for dinner…it was so delicious my hubby and I really enjoyed.thank You so much kaluhi!!!!😚😚😊😊😊

  9. Hi There,
    Thanks for this recipe. I don’t see instruction for how long I should boil the beans for. Can you help with that?

    • kaluhiskitchen

      October 11, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      You boil the beans until they are soft. Period. Different beans have different cooking times so timing can be futile; the beans I use may be different from the ones you use. Just boil them, watch over them, them=n when they are soft, they are done.

  10. At what point do you add the ginger

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