Three Bean (or more), Tomato & Spinach Stew

This is a recipe adapted from April 2012 BBC Good Food (India). I cook it very often because it is so deliciously healthy (packed with tonnes of antioxidants and fibre!) and simple to prepare. It’s also perfect for PJ’s slow carb diet (when he was on it).
To make this dish, I rely on my stash of canned tomatoes (Italian) and canned beans. I always have a few of these in my cupboard. The beauty of this dish is that you can use any kinds of canned beans that you fancy – cannellini, red kidney, black-eyed, pinto, broad beans, mixed beans, even chick peas.  I personally favour cannellini beans and red kidney beans.

You can always use dried beans (soaked overnight), but I find it so much more convenient to use canned beans. Canned tomatoes are also very reliable in producing a flavoursome stew.

Prep 20 mins

Cook 25 mins

Serves 2-3 (as a complete meal)

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 400g canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 black olives, deseeded and halved
  • 2 x 400g canned beans, rinsed and drained (net weight of drained beans would be between 400-510g)
  • 100g green beans, chopped
  • 100g spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp salt Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  1. Cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat, until softened. Add the cumin and coriander. Cook for 1 min, stirring constantly.
  2. Tip in the tomatoes and water. Simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened.
  3. Add all the beans and cook for 5 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and black pepper before serving.


  • Add the garlic only towards the end of the onion softening. Garlic tends to burn quite easily
  • If you prefer a stronger flavour, replace the ground coriander with ground cumin, making it a total of 1 tbsp of ground cumin
  • You can replace the fresh vegetables according to your taste e.g., green beans with french beans, spinach with cabbage (will need to stew longer) etc.

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