Minty Bean Salad

My mint pot is brimming with fresh mint in abundance. I was thinking of ways to use up those fragrant leaves in ways possible. And what better way to enjoy its freshness than in a salad.

Mint growing profusely in pot outdoors on deck

Canned beans are a pantry staple for me. I use them frequently in soups and salads. During this season of outdoor barbecues, this no-cook, colorful, quick to throw together and crowd pleasing salad makes for a great entree. You can also serve this salad during Ramadan at Iftaar, or as a light lunch along with boiled eggs if you desire.

Substitute the red kidney beans with whatever beans you like, for example: chickpeas, black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, lima beans, black eye beans, etc or a can of mixed beans.

Minty Bean Salad
Serves: 4

Canned Red Kidney Beans – a 175 ml can
Tomato – 1, medium, finely chopped
Fresh Mint leaves – 1/2 cup, tightly packed, finely chopped
Red onion – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Juice of a Lime
Small Green Chilli – 2, finely chopped
Black pepper powder and Salt – to taste

Refreshing Minty Bean Salad


Drain and rinse the canned beans in a colander to remove excess sodium. In a mixing bowl add the drained beans along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Let it sit for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Shake it every now and then. Serve it chilled.

Note: You can also use dried beans if you desire which you will have to soak overnight and then boil till tender the next day.

And here’s one question for all my readers. What do you all usually prepare using fresh Mint/Pudinah leaves. If you have any interesting recipes, please send them to me. I would love to try.


Colourful Pasta

There’s one thing about pasta that I like a lot. It can be made in a thousand different ways changing the flavours with every ingredient you wish to add to it. While preparing pasta you can experiment a lot, with whatever you like, and it gets ready instantly for a delicious heartful meal.

This recipe which I make is loved by everyone in my home. You can substitute meat in this recipe with the same amount of chicken breast pieces, or omit both and make it a vegetarian pasta dish.

Serves : 4

Colourful Pasta


Lamb/Veal meat – 110 gms, cubed into bite size pieces
Fusilli Pasta – 400 gms
Ripe Tomatoes – 2, large, chopped finely
Canned Tomato paste – 1 cup
Carrots – 2, washed peeled and sliced
Red capsicum – 1, large
Green beans/Binees – 1 cup, washed and chopped
Canned Black beans – 1 cup, drained and gently washed
Salt – to taste
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 2 tsp
Yellow Onion – 1, small, sliced
Canola Oil – 4 1/2 tbsp
Parmesan Cheese – 1 cup, Grated (optional)
Black Olives – 1 cup, sliced and deseeded (optional)


  • Put a pressure cooker on heat and add half a tablespoon of oil to it. Add the washed and cubed lean meat pieces and stir until no longer red. Pour a little water and pressure cook till it becomes soft. You can even use some left over meat. Just shred it into bite size pieces. Remove the meat with all its juices to a bowl once done.
  • Take a pan and add two teaspoon oil to it. Fry the cut carrots, capsicum, french beans individually for 3-4 minutes each and remove in an another bowl.
  • In a sauce pan, add the remaining oil and put it on heat. Add the sliced onions to it and let them turn translucent. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and cover the lid for a few minutes till the tomatoes have become soft. Add the tomato paste and stir to mix. Add salt, chilli powder, garam masala and turmeric and stir again. Now add the meat pieces with all its juices to the tomato mixture and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile cook Fusilli according to instructions and reserve half cup of the water in which the Fusilli was cooked. Drain and keep aside.
  • Add the drained pasta with its reserved water, the drained black bean and the sautéed vegetables to the tomato mixture. Reduce the heat to medium low and let it cook uncovered for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve immediately into individual plates sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese and sliced olives on top.