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Tony’s Red Bean Masala

Tony’s Red Bean Masala By Tony Vassallo of Just Eat Real Food
Tony’s Red Bean Masala

Many may get intimated by Indian bean dishes, even me at one time. While in college and working part time, I connected with an amazing Indian cook named Firoz; we used to go to his trailer and cook (and drink beer). I learned a great deal from him as it relates to using spices. We ended up coming up with what we call Euro-Indian cuisine, as I would add a flare of my European culinary roots to his dishes. And let me tell you, we came up with some masterpieces in those days! This is one of the creations, as best I can remember. This dish is nutritious, delicious and chock full of fibre and flavour. It makes for perfect batch cooking, can be easily frozen for those cold days you come home and need a heat-and-eat meal or bring to a potluck. By all means, substitute the red beans with garbanzo or any other bean.

Serves 2 as a main, 3–4 as a side.


Spice Mix:

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala spice mix

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • ½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika

  • ½–1 teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

  • Sea salt to taste


  • 1–2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 medium sweet or Spanish onion, coarsely chopped

  • 2–3 tablespoons grated ginger

  • 1–2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 can (19oz/540ml) red kidney beans, well rinsed

  • 1 can (14oz/400ml) diced tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon thinly sliced Thai pepper, plus more for garnish (optional)

  • 2–4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Combine spices, set aside.

  2. Using enamel pot or cast iron skillet, liquefy coconut oil over medium heat.

  3. Increase heat to medium-high, add onions, sauté until semi-translucent but not cooked through; add garlic and ginger, stir for one or two minutes.

  4. Add butter, Thai peppers (if using) and two thirds of the spice mixture. Mix well until onions are coated.

  5. Lower heat to medium, stir for 2–4 minutes until you get a nice paste. Add remaining spice mixture, stir for a further 2–3 minutes. If it begins to stick, add a little hot water to lift the onion spice paste.

  6. Add beans and tomatoes; simmer, uncovered, for 5–8 minutes.

  7. Lower heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  8. Serve warm on brown rice or cauliflower rice (I like to combine the brown and cauliflower rice).

  9. Garnish with cilantro, thinly sliced Thai peppers or some finely chopped jalapeño pepper.

Tony’s Red Bean MasalaRPL
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Tony Vassallo Founder of The Real Food Revival Movement & MODA Nutrition & Weight Loss
Tony Vassallo Founder of The Real Food Revival Movement & MODA Nutrition & Weight Loss

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