home Forums Recipe Swap RECIPE: Brazilian black bean stew (feijoada), vegetarian version

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  • #34434

    Hey all!

    I’m from Brazil, where we love our pressure cookers (even if most of us are still using our rocking valve ones and completely unaware of the newer, safer versions). Rice and beans are an everyday food for us, and as you know, making beans without a pressure cooker is a big no-no.

    Here’s a vegetarian version of our national dish “Feijoada” (black bean stew). The original version has pieces of pork (traditionally the leftover parts, like the ears, nose, feet, tail, and so on) and can be quite heavy. In the veggie version we substitute pork with chewie roots, vegetables, mushroom and tofu, which makes it much lighter. It’s even possible to eat it in a weekday and still function afterwards. Good luck trying that with the pork version! ;)

    This is a work in progress. I translated and adapted a couple of recipes I found online in Portuguese, made it once and adapted it again. I’m a novice cook, so I appreciate any tips you might have to make this better :)

    In Brazil, Feijoada is not only a meal, it’s a whole happening. We gather together, usually in family celebrations, and the meal takes the whole afternoon. We traditionally serve it with white rice, orange slices, fried kale with garlic, fried manioc flour with some additions such as bacon, carrots, eggs (“farofa”) and a hot bean-pepper sauce. Caipirinhas or shots of cachaça (Brazilian rum) are often served as well.


    Vegetarian feijoada (Brazilian black bean stew)
    Serves 6


    * 300 g black beans (dry, soaked overnight)
    * 3 tablespoons olive oil
    * 150 g carrots, diced
    * 300 g onions, diced
    * 1 zucchini, diced
    * 1 sweet potato, diced
    * 400 g pumpkin, diced
    * 3 cups shiitake (or other type of chewy mushroom), diced
    * 100 g tofu, diced
    * 8 garlic cloves
    * 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
    * 2 laurel leaves
    * Fresh parsley, minced, to taste
    * Black pepper, to taste
    * Fresh chili pepper (“pimenta malagueta”, if you can find it), chopped, to taste
    * Salt, to taste
    * Soy sauce, to taste
    * Mild curry powder


    The night before:
    1. Pick out bad beans, rinse and soak overnight. Throw away the soaking water to make the beans easier to digest.
    2. Dice the tofu, marinate it with shoyu, water and a pinch of curry powder.

    On the day:
    3. Drain the tofu from the marinating sauce, save the sauce.
    4. Cook the beans with two cloves of garlic (smashed) and the laurel leaves in the pressure cooker for 25 minutes in high pressure, with 10 minutes natural release. The black beans should be very soft.
    5. While the beans cook, in another pot, heat the oil and brown half of the onions and 3 garlic cloves (minced or chopped), then add the shiitake and the drained tofu. Cook until the mushrooms are soft. Reserve.
    6. Brown the other half of the onions, 3 garlic cloves and the vegetables, adding one type at a time (carrots, zucchini, sweet potato and pumpkin).
    7. Once the vegetables are browned, add ginger, a little bit of fresh chopped chili, salt, soy sauce and the marinating liquid from the tofu. Cook until the vegetables are soft.
    8. Mix in the tofu and mushroom mixture to the vegetables.
    9. Once the beans are cooked and the pressure is down, drain the beans from the liquid, but save the liquid.
    10. Add the beans to the vegetables mixture, and add the bean cooking water until the consistency of the stew is fairly thick, not too soupy.
    11. Season with more salt (if needed) and back pepper to taste. Let it simmer for some more time (about 10 minutes).
    12. Get some of the stew from the pot and blend it. Return most of it to the pot, saving a small amount for the pepper sauce.
    13. Chop a generous amount of fresh chili and add to the blended feijoada that you saved in a small pot. Simmer it for a few minutes to make the bean-pepper sauce.
    14. Remove the laurel leaves. Serve with the chopped parsley on top.

    Laura Pazzaglia

    Wow, this is neat!

    I’m especially intrigued by the use of ginger, bay leaves, soy sauce and curry powder together.

    It sounds like you’re using the soy sauce in place of salt – and the curry powder? You sprinkle that on top before serving?



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