Black Magic Beans + Rice

Black magic beans & rice.jpg

I was inspired by the Red Blanket Sauce from one of my favorite food blogs, My New Roots to create a meal that is nothing short of magic. The star of the meal is a savory cacao and tomato-based sauce with a smooth, velvety texture to which I added black beans. In keeping with the color theme, I served it with black rice and pine nuts.

As I have already written here, combining plant proteins such as beans and rice is a great way of making sure you are getting enough protein. I topped the rice with roasted pine nuts to add a healthy fat and crunch to the dish. You could also try topping the dish with coconut flakes or diced avocado or even just some chopped coriander.

Both black beans and black rice are among the healthiest types of beans and rice since they are rich in phytonutrients called anthocyanins. This is what gives them the distinct dark color which can also be found in purple cabbage, blueberries or grapes. These powerful nutrients have a protective effect on the body, helping prevent disease as different as diabetes, allergic reactions, heart disease and cancer. Be careful when you are soaking and cooking them though as the color can stain kitchen counters…

You can use canned red beans and red or brown rice if you prefer – I suppose it would then be called Red Magic Beans + Rice?

Soak the beans and rice overnight to reduce cooking time and make them more digestible.


A bit of coconut oil or ghee

1  onion or scallion

3 cloves garlic

1 can tomatoes (unseasoned)

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp dried thyme or oregano

pinch of cayenne, if desired

4 regular dates or 2 Medjool dates

2 tbsp cacao powder

2-3 dried tomatoes

1 tbsp tahini

2-4 tbsp water

1½ tbsp lemon or lime juice


Heat the oil or ghee in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add the spices and stir until you can smell them.

Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the canned tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Adjust the seasoning if you need.

In a blender or food processor, combine the rest of the ingredients, then add the tomato sauce when it is ready. Add more water if needed and blend until the consistency is smooth.

Meanwhile, cook the beans and rice separately, according to the instructions on the pack. You can also use canned beans if you prefer.

Heat a little coconut oil, olive oil or ghee in a frying pan on medium heat and fry some pine nuts until they are golden.

Once the beans are cooked, mix in with the sauce.  Serve with the rice topped with pine nuts.


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  • Simone Reeves on Mar 29, 2014 Reply

    What are the quantities for beans and rice?

    • Hiba on Mar 29, 2014 Reply

      Hi Simone! About 250g of black beans and about 75g uncooked rice per person. I usually make big quantities so I can have leftovers over several days. Let me know how it turns out if you make this!

  • Angie on Feb 26, 2014 Reply

    That sounds so delicious, Hiba! can’t wait to try it :)

    • Hiba on Feb 26, 2014 Reply

      Thanks Angie! It is similar to what I made when you all were over :)

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