Spicy Black Beans and Ghee Infused Rice

black beans and ghee infused rice photo

It’s funny that as much as I love to cook, I infamously screw up the easiest recipes. Rice for instance, has taken me years to get the hang of and from time to time it still comes out a gummy mess. This is true of yoga as well. Sometimes when we get caught up in the handstands and arm balances of the world, we lose site of the importance of mountain pose and warrior one. Don’t get caught up in the glamour of a difficult recipe and forget to ground down into the pose.

I love this recipe, which initially started off as a soup and then condensed down to heartier black beans and rice. If you’re all pitta all the time, then too many spicy foods may not be a good thing for you and in that case, just reduce the red pepper flakes and jalapeno to taste. The ghee will help to cool you off as well. If you’ve got a pitta imbalance going, you’ll want to reduce your spice as well.

If you’re unfamiliar with ghee, it’s clarified butter often used in Indian cooking. Ghee is made by simmering unsalted butter in a pot until all water has boiled off, the milk solids have settled to the bottom, and the “junk” has floated to the top. After removing the junk, the cooked and clarified butter is then spooned off carefully and because the milk solids have been removed, you don’t need refrigeration.

According to Dr. Vasant Lad, director of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, N.M., traditionally, ghee has been used to promote memory, intelligence, and digestion. Modern science tells us that ghee bolsters the immune system as well.

Ghee Infused Rice

2 tbsp ghee
1 cup organic brown basmati rice, rinsed three times
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 cups water


1. Heat ghee up to medium high heat and add in red pepper flakes, cumin seeds, and salt. Sauté for about two minutes to release the flavor of the spices.

2. Add in rice and coat with ghee. Add in 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer.

3. Stir occasionally and cook with lid off until the water has evaporated, about 40 minutes.

Spicy Black Beans

3 cups organic vegetable broth
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup chopped sweet potato
1 tsp jalapeno, chopped
1 cup chopped purple onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups black beans, cooked
1/4 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
½ tsp Shoyu soy sauce to taste
Garnish with sour cream and cilantro


1. Bring broth to a boil. Add in carrot, sweet potato, jalapeno, onion, and garlic. Cook for 30 minutes, until veggies are cooked through.

2. Add in remaining ingredients. Cook 10 more minutes.

3. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.

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Sara Kovak
Welcome to Serene Kitchen, your destination for tasty meatless eats and mindful living. My name is Sara Novak and I'm a health and wellness expert for Discovery Health and TreeHugger.