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. D.od

    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:)

    • kaluhiskitchen

      I love beans too! Glad you enjoyed this :)))))

  2. nurkey

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

    • kaluhiskitchen

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

  3. daisy

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

    • kaluhiskitchen

      It is the ultimate bean stew!!! You’ll love it!

  4. Kemi

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

    • kaluhiskitchen

      yes! YES! YEEESSSSS!!!!

  5. Brenda

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

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Yasssssssss!!! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe!!!

  6. Soni

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

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Karibu sana!!! I am so so glad you have enjoyed this as much as I have!

  7. Joan gor

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

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Awesome! Indeed anything can be transformed into a feast!! <3

  8. Yvonne

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

    • kaluhiskitchen

      <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  9. Shawn

    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

      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. Rachie

    At what point do you add the ginger

    • kaluhiskitchen

      with the onions

  11. Maryanne

    Just tried this recipe.. It is awesome!! I was looking for a different beans recipe from the normal coconut flavoured beans.. Thanks for this

    • kaluhiskitchen


  12. Wangechi

    How much mafuta should I put in

    • kaluhiskitchen

      As much as you need to fry your onions

  13. Judd

    This is a truly great meal, and extremely cheap too! Thanks a lot. I have two questions (a) some people advice to soak beans overnight, but you say an hour is adequate? (b) how does one ensure the garlic does not burn?

    • Kaluhi

      a) overnight is fine, so is an hour. Just depends on how much time you have to spend on boiling
      b) regulate your heat

  14. Nancy

    I really loved this dish! I covered the beans with just enough water to boil them, adding a little more as needed. This way I didn’t have to drain any water off and lose all those good flavors. I only made one small change by using a can of diced tomatoes, which I then pureed, rather than fresh because that’s what I had on hand. And next time I will cut the black pepper by about half (personal preference). Thanks for the recipe. It’s a keeper, Kaluhi!

    • Kaluhi

      Happy you loved it!

  15. ashok

    Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.

    • Kaluhi


  16. Kajuju

    I used your recipe for dinner, and the kids absolutely loved it. Thanks Kaluhi.

    • Kaluhi

      Most welcome love!

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