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Pick over the beans, throwing out any stones or pieces of grit. Wash and drain. Put into a pan with the water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 1 hour, still covered. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 20–30 minutes, until the beans are just tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and add the whole cumin seeds and the cinnamon stick. Fry for 10 seconds or so, then add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until brown. Halve the mushrooms if large, otherwise keep them whole, and add to the casserole with the tomatoes, the remaining spices and the salt. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Tip the beans into the casserole with their cooking water. Simmer, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, sprinkle with coriander or parsley and serve with bread to mop up the juices.
© 1990 Joyce Molyneux. All rights reserved.