Dominican Sweet Beans recipe is a cherished traditional Lenten and Easter dessert that is prepared in large quantities to share with relatives and neighbors. There are many ways to prepare this dish. Its ingredients and preparation method indicate a diverse origin: indigenous, European, African and Asian. It is served preferably chilled with milk crackers or toasted cassava bread, but it can also be enjoyed warm. This recipe takes a little time to make but will pay-off with true enjoyment for your guests.
- 1 lb. dried, dark-red kidney beans, sorted and rinsed
- Water, divided
- 2 cinnamon sticks, divided
- 8 cloves, divided
- 1 to 2 medium (3/4 to 1 1/2 lbs.) batatas or boniatos (Caribbean sweet potatoes), peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 cans (12 fl. oz. each) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Milk crackers for garnish (optional)
SOAK beans in large bowl overnight in 6 to 8 cups water; drain. Place soaked beans in large saucepan; add same amount of water. Cook gently over medium-low heat with lid tilted, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until beans are tender. Drain; set aside.
BRING 4 cups water, 1 cinnamon stick and 2 cloves to a boil in large saucepan. Add batata chunks. Reduce heat to medium; cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain; reserve cooking water (this will be needed in next step). Remove spices.
PLACE about 1/3 of cooked beans in food processor or blender container; add 1/2 cup of reserved batata cooking water. Cover; process until thick paste is achieved. (Mixture should be the conisistency of sour cream.) Over a large bowl, push pureed beans through fine mesh strainer to remove skins. Repeat with remaining beans and reserved batata water.
BRING evaporated milk , coconut milk, sugar, salt and remaining cinnamon stick and 6 cloves to a boil over medium heat in large saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. Remove cloves.
ADD bean puree, raisins and nutmeg to milk mixture (mixture will be the consistency of oil). Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add cooked batatas; continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes or the consistency of heavy cream. Remove cinnamon stick.
SERVE warm or chilled in dessert or soup bowls. Garnish with milk crackers.