Monday 27 February 2012

Rose Cocoa Beans with Tamarind Sauce.

Whenever I see beautiful mottled pink rose cocoa beans I always think of two things.  One is my mother-in-law sitting behind a massive tray full of dried beans carefully picking out any split ones or stray stones that if left in could break a tooth. The other is reading bed time stories to H when she was a tiny little girl from story books by Shirley Hughes with a character that I'm sure was called  Mrs Rose Cocoa.  

These beans are a really hearty meal, easy to make you only need two ingredients,cost pennies full of second-class protein, and so tasty that you keep coming back for more. But that doesn't matter because they're good for you. These are the kind of beans I imagine cowboys eating.

To make Rose Cocoa Beans with Tamarind Sauce you will need:

  • Dried rose cocoa (Borlotti) beans (or pinto would work too)
  • Tamarind paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil and lemon juice to serve.


  1. Check the dried beans for any split ones or stones and remove.
  2. Wash well.
  3. Place in a heavy saucepan. Cover well with cold water, season and cook.
  4. Once the water has boiled reduce the heat and add the tamarind paste. From a teaspoon to a dessertspoon or more depending on your palate. 
  5. Cook until the beans are tender...checking every so often and top up with a little boiling water if necessary.
  6. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice and plenty of good crusty bread...mmm...
You can soak the bean's overnight to reduce the cooking time which is quite long...but I never do.  'A' swears that they don't taste as good if you do...and of course I believe him...


  1. Oh! You should enter this in February's We Should Cocoa - it doesn't quite fit the bill but almost!
    Did you know that fresh, raw borlotti beans are poisonous? I read it the other day (so, err, it must be true). I just found a packet of tamarind pulp in the pantry yesterday, I must try this!

  2. I did want to do 'We Should Cocoa' this month but we were away at the weekend and I didn't manage to make anything in time...I was thinking of doing a kind of lentil chilli with chocolate...but you're right Lucy this would have worked really well too...

    I had heard that some dried beans are poisonous until cooked and you shouldn't do them in a slow cooker either...thanks for reminding me.

  3. beautiful pics ! i love beans, my hubby hates em.

  4. Oh thank you Angelina, it's a shame your hubby doesn't like beans...fortunately mine is on the same page as me when it comes to beans and lentils...