Brown rice and black turtle beans

I love mixing beans in with rice. Add a jot of stock powder to flavour it up, and just before you serve gently fluff some butter into the rice. The children had rice with butter one at a friend’s place and it’s now the only way they’ll eat it.

I got the idea for adding spices to the rice before cooking it from one of my first flatmates, Paul. He’s a yoga teacher and he really wasn’t interested in the joys of food – for him it was just fuel.

He would heat some oil, stir in the rice, add sweet potatoes and mushrooms or other vegetables, add some spices from his selection of silver Indian Spice tins, add boiling water and put the lid on. Half an hour later his dinner was ready. And that was that.

With the beans and the extra flavour this happily sits as a main – simply serve with salad or steamed vegetables for a healthy (and easy) lunch or dinner.

So, this is probably the time for me to tell you I always use a pressure cooker for rice and dried beans and the suchlike. It’s reduced my cooking time for brown rice from 45 to 25 minutes. And I never get it wrong now.

I bought myself a WMF one from the Amazon returns department. Just find what you want (this is my 2.5L one) and click on “used” and if you’re lucky there’ll be a return at a fraction of the cost of a new one.

One day I’m going to buy myself a couple of Silit pressure cookers – in yellow. It might warrant a trip to Germany during the sales in fact. They really are just works of art. And then I’ll need a yellow Smeg fridge to match it.

Back to the rice, I usually buy brown rice in 3kg bags but the nice people at Tilda asked if I’d try theirs which I was more than delighted to do. For this recipe I used their wholegrain basmati and it worked out very well indeed. Thanks Tilda!


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup black turtle beans – soaked overnight, and boiled for at least 45 minutes (make sure they have been properly cooked or you might get food poisoning)
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 4 servings


  1. On a medium heat, warm the oil in your pressure cooker (if you use a saucepan you’ll need to steam for approx 45 minutes as opposed to 15).
  2. Stir in the rice and beans to coat with oil.
  3. Continue stirring for one minute.
  4. Very carefully add the boiling water – make sure you avoid all the steam that is going to very quickly rise from the pot when you do this .
  5. Secure the lid onto your pressure cooker (if using a saucepan put the lid on and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes).
  6. Keep the heat up high until your pressure cooker reaches the top temperature for rice.
  7. Reduce heat to low for 15 minutes.
  8. Turn heat off and sit for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Carefully and slowly release the lid to let any steam out (usually if you’ve let it sit for 10 minutes the steam has already dissipated).
  10. Remove lid – again, taking care with the steam.
  11. With a fork gently fluff the rice grains.
  12. Add the butter (or ghee) and salt and carefully mix in with the fork, trying to keep the rice as fluffy as you can (ie: don’t overwork it).
  13. To serve, scoop out using a half cup measure.
  14. Gently mould onto the plate.
Brown rice and black turtle beans Brown rice and black turtle beans Brown rice and black turtle beans Brown rice and black turtle beans Brown rice and black turtle beans

Disclosure: This is not a paid post. Tilda sent me a pack of wholegrain basmati to try.