Make Ahead

Calypso beans with ginger and black mustard seeds

March 16, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

I've been creating a lot of dried bean recipes since joining an heirloom bean CSA in my community. I made this recipe for calypso beans (which are pictured in the photo), but this recipe would also work well with anasazi beans which have a similar flavor and beautifully variegated pattern. The beans stew in coconut milk (I like cooking them in a slow cooker, which allows them to plump up gradually without any presoaking), and then are finished off with a tarka of ginger and black mustard seeds. These beans are delicious with roasted cauliflower and fresh naan. —Fairmount_market

What You'll Need
  • For the beans
  • 2 cups dried calypso or anasazi beans, rinsed
  • 1 onion
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil such as grape seed
  • 15 ounces coconut milk (1 can)
  • 2.5 cups water, or more as needed
  • plenty of salt
  • For the tarka
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  1. To prepare the beans, peel and finely mince the ginger and garlic cloves (this can be done in a mini food processor). Heat the oil and saute the onion until glassy. Add the ginger and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the spices and cook another minute, until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, water and dried beans. Cook at a low simmer on the stove top or on low in a slow cooker. Make sure that the beans stay submerged in liquid, which may require adding additional water on the stove top, and stir occasionally (or swirl in the slow cooker, to avoid opening frequently). Cook until the beans are soft to the bite, which will happen when their colors mellow, with the brown lightening and the white turning more beige. The cooking time will depend on the dryness of the beans. In my slow cooker, my beans were tender after 4 hours. When they are soft, salt them generously.
  2. When you are just about ready to serve the beans, prepare the tarka. Peel and mice the ginger. In a small skillet, heat the ghee or butter until bubbling, and then add the ginger. Let it cook for a few minutes until glassy, then add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start to pop and sizzle, stir the mixture into the beans. Enjoy.
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  • Denise McMahon Rheault
    Denise McMahon Rheault
  • Gloria Rohmann
    Gloria Rohmann
  • gingerroot
  • boulangere
  • Fairmount_market
I'm a biology professor and mother of two, and in my (limited) free time I love to cook, which is much more forgiving than laboratory science. Last year I helped start a farmers market in my neighborhood, and to promote it, I created a food blog: I enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes for local, seasonal ingredients and finding fun ways to cook with my children.

12 Reviews

Denise M. December 4, 2017
I so wanted to love this recipe but it was cloyingly sweet and I had to throw the entire dish away.
Meg P. January 1, 2019
Very curious about this... how was it cloying? Was the coconut milk too much?
HalfPint February 23, 2019
A little late here,

I wonder if Denise M. used cream of coconut instead of coconut milk. The cream of coconut has a lot of sugar added.
Denise M. February 23, 2019
Yes, think of pouring a can of sweeten condense milk o beans and then trying to eat it... it was that sweet
Denise M. February 23, 2019
Actually that’s possible since the recipe got such good reviews. I’ve only purchased coconut milk twice in my live and I wouldn’t have known that they were different... it’s been so long I wouldn’t remember a detail like that.
Gloria R. November 27, 2017
I got some Calypso beans from my CSA. Made this wonderful dish today using my slow cooker (no pre-soaking). It came out great in about 3.5 hours on Low setting. Served with braised cauliflower and tomato and rice. Excellent!
beth November 5, 2017
had to add more beans and rice in order to make dish thick enough.
Gisele73 June 26, 2013
This came out fantastic. I pre-soaked the beans all day, and then cooked on stovetop and it was done in under an hour. Smooshed a few of the beans to make the liquid thicker. Glorious!
gingerroot March 23, 2011
I love this! Looking forward to trying it.
boulangere March 23, 2011
Wow! This sounds wonderful - great flavor combinations!
Fairmount_market March 20, 2011
Thanks. The colors of the beans were the inspiration for the flavors.
Sagegreen March 19, 2011
Great combination.