Sunday, January 13, 2013

Black eyed beans with couscous and chipotle mango sauce

You may remember that six months ago, Mel of Veganise This! kindly sent me a smoky, flavour-filled package. Her gift included liquid smoke, smoked paprika, chile chipotle powder, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These ingredients have provided me with a lot of kitchen fun, as well as the ability to make her tofu bacon properly. Tofu bacon is still one of my favourite tofu preparation methods, and I can't see myself tiring of it anytime soon.

Recently, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce have become available in Perth. I've now seen them at two separate supermarkets, and this increased availability has allowed me to experiment more with their use. When ingredients are hard to find, and consequently precious, I became very cautious in how I use them. When they can be replaced more readily, I branch out and start putting them in dishes even if I'm not certain how things will turn out.

Last week, I had chipotle peppers to hand, a mango needing to be used, black eyed beans soaked, and an opportunity to make a dinner for myself that wouldn't be eaten by Mr Bite (he was having chicken). The result was one of the nicest meals I have had to date this year.

The base of this meal is simple: couscous, black eyed beans, vegetables, and some pineapple on the side. The key component is definitely the sauce, which incorporates 2 chipotle peppers, some of the adobe sauce in which they came, and fresh mango. It takes the meal from basic to wonderful.

If you like spicy flavours and a bit of heat, I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did!

Black eyed beans with couscous and 
chipotle mango sauce
This sauce can be used with other dishes
Sauce adapted from the chipotle-mango BBQ sauce at Iowa Girl Eats
Serves 4

For the base -
2 cups cooked black eyed beans
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 carrots, finely sliced
1 red capsicum (pepper), finely sliced
1/2 cup chopped pineapple, fresh or tinned (optional, but enjoyable)

For the sauce -
1 medium fresh mango, finely chopped
2 chipotle peppers with 2 tsp adobo sauce
1/2 small onion, peeled and diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 - 2 tbsp maple syrup

In a large bowl, add 1 cup boiling water to the 1 cup couscous and whisk with a fork. Cover with a tea towl and set aside, fluffing with a fork after 5 minutes.

Roughly chop the chipotle peppers, and then combine all sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to boiling point, then reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring regularly.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the carrots and capsicum in the top half of a vegetable steamer (you could also stir fry them in a non-stick pan, if you don't have a steamer). When the vegetables are nearly cooked, add the black eyed beans to heat them through. Just before serving, add the pineapple to heat this through.

Combine the couscous, black eyed beans, vegetables and pineapple on a plate. Top with the chipotle mango sauce and serve.

I ate this for dinner, and then I ate the leftovers for lunch on consecutive days. I think I could happily have eaten it for lunch and dinner and snacks all in a single day, and only the desire to make it last prevented me from doing so. Mango and chipotle seem to be very good friends, and I think this will be on regular rotation from now on.

I am sending this to Ricki's Wellness Weekend 17th to 21st January 2013.

Do you use chipotle peppers regularly?
What are you like with 'rare' ingredients - do you use them immediately or ration them with caution?


  1. it is great when you discover a new way to use new ingredients. I really like this way of serving couscous.

    I have a jar of chipotle peppers in the fridge that I think has been there too many years to count - I love them but they are so spicy and a bit fiddly to cut up so I am often lazy and use smoked paprika and cayenne pepper instead. I can be sparing with ingredients that aren't easy to find so perhaps I don't use my chipotle peppers too often

    1. It's good to hear they can live in the fridge a long time - I was a little unsure but it does take me a while to get through them even aside from the rationing thing. They are very spicy!

  2. That meal looks superb! And mango anything is good for me.

  3. This just looks amazing - I bet that's a delicious flavour combination! :-)

  4. This looks lovely! Bravo. Anything with chilli works in my books.

    1. Thanks Hannah :-) I share your love for chilli but will confess I may have met my match in these peppers...I'm rather glad I started off with them cautiously!

  5. Yay! Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce is a pantry staple at my house so I'm glad that it's available in Perth! It's such an easy way to add flavor into any dishes..especially soups and casseroles. It adds a nice smokey, spicy flavor. Tim wasn't a fan before, but he's appreciating it more and more. A lovely recipe, Kari!

    1. I haven't ventured to try it on Mr B yet - I don't know if his spice taste buds are up to it! And thank you!

  6. How lovely to be sent a bunch of things you absolutely love. These chipotle peppers look so interesting. What a great dish! xx

  7. super yummy!! i'm pretty lame and my level of spicy tolerance isn't all that high, buuut, i like a nice kick every now and again. :)

    1. Well, I can promise you that this would deliver that kick :P

  8. This sounds awesome... I'm definitely going to keep a look out for the adobe chilli/sauce/chipotle peppers.... I KNOW I would love it!

  9. I'm so glad you are still enjoying these ingredients! I wish my fellows weren't so adverse to fruit in savoury things as I love the sound of your recipe. I adore the chipotles in adobo, the tins go a long way as you only need to use a little at a time. It's great that they are available in Perth now! :)

    1. It really is great :)

      Between your fellows not liking fruit in savoury, and Mr B having a low spice threshold, this dish is tricky for sharing! In my case I don't mind too much though, as I can eat more myself...

  10. oh this is such a great combo of flavors and ingredients! I loooove mango!

  11. Wow that bowl looks just amazing! I am drooling over here!

    1. It's super easy to make Gabby - then you can have your own :-)

  12. I feel like we should have a dinner party.. :) That looks so damn good. i could eat that whole bowl!

    1. I could too, it was quite a challenging scenario ;) Eat all at once, or savour over multiple days?

      A dinner party would be very fun, especially as your recipes are usually far more exotic than mine!


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