Recipe: Red Kidney Beans with Plantains

Serves 4

If you can make this African bean dish a day ahead, please do. The sauce will thicken and coat every millimeter of the beans with chili and onion goodness. Great side dish for a party!


3 cups prepared red kidney beans (2 cans)
2 Tbsp red palm oil
1 onion, sliced
1 plantain, sliced
1 tsp chili powder
2 cups water


1. Heat oil over medium heat, cook onion

2. Add beans, plantains, salt, and chili pepper. Cook for a minute.

3. Add water and simmer until plantains are cooked and about a 1/2 cup of liquid is left in the pan – 30 -45 min

I chose a plantain with blackened skin. Unlike a banana, where darker skin indicates over-ripeness, blackened skin in a plantain indicates perfect sweetness with a little tooth – perfect for a short simmer.

Always rinse canned beans. I bought “no salt added” to keep this dish low sodium.

This photo flashes me back to spoonfuls of cod liver oil as a child. Luckily, red palm oil tastes nothing like fish.

Heat up the oil with the onion.

And once they cook down, add the rest.

If you prefer a mild dish, add less chili powder – maybe half.

Water allows the flavors to meld.

Everything breaks down into a wonderful mess. Yum!

This is one of my favorites :)

Serve with rice and fish.

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  1. I notice in the photo that your red palm oil looks like, well, it looks like oil! The product I purchased is solid in the jar. Just wondering if I bought the wrong product. I found it at Whole Foods.

    • globaltable says:

      Hi Joanne,

      Your comment got lost in spam filters – sorry about that :) I’ve had my palm oil since Angola (!!), so the solids have settled down to the bottom of the jar. I’m sure yours is right. That’s the way mine looked at first.


  2. Hi

    I am also trying to cook recipes from around the world and so glad to have come across your site. I recently made this dish following your recipe.


  3. Thank you for your recipes, pictures, and stories. We are adopting from Burundi and want to start cooking some of their dishes before the kids come home. You are helping us out!

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