Spiced African Beans and Greens

African cuisine has been a mystery to me until this year.

In writing my third cookbook on global vegan food, I noticed two large gaps in my international cooking repertoire: South America and Africa.

This delicious dinner of loso na madesu (spiced beans), rice, and hamli (spicy sauteed greens) is a joyful, nourishing taste of life in DRC and Ethiopia.

The simple ingredients and lively flavors make me want to keep exploring more African recipes.


Beans (Loso na madesu)

  • 2 cups dried beans (I used white cannellini beans)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • Optional banana slices as garnish

Greens (Hamli)

  • 2 bunches leafy greens, like Chinese broccoli, rapini, or spinach, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • A few drops of hot chili sauce (I used sriracha)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Beans (Loso na madesu)

Soak the beans overnight, then boil them in a large pot of water for about 1 hour. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions start to get soft. Add the bell pepper and keep stirring and cooking for 3-4 more minutes to soften the pepper.

Mix the tomato paste into the onions and peppers. Add a little bit of water until your sauce is like a nice, thick tomato sauce for pasta. Cook for 3-4 more minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the nutmeg, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and a little more water if needed to keep the thick sauce consistency.

Next, add the pre-cooked beans and bay leaf to the pot and mix well. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Boil the rice according to package directions, and serve the beans over the rice with optional banana slices on top.

Greens (Hamli)

As you chop the greens, keep the stalks and leaves separate, since they have different cooking times.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir and cook the onion for about 5 minutes until it starts to get soft.

Add the garlic, stir and cook for 1 more minute, then add the stalks of your leafy greens and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Next, add the leaves, chili sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and turn off the heat but leave the pan on the stove. Stir and cook over the dying heat until the greens are just wilted but still bright green. Enjoy hot!


“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

May your heart dance today, whatever the weather.

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

3 responses to “Spiced African Beans and Greens”

  1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Delightful dinner!

  2. maitricooksnewlife Avatar

    Instagram comment from Evan: ❤️❤️

    1. maitricooksnewlife Avatar

      @evancarmichael Thanks Evan, you’re the best! 🥰

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