Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Black Beans Goan Style Curry (Black Beans Tonak)

The peculiar tasting daily curry made in many Goan Hindu homes - Tonak is a personal favorite. I usually make Tonak with Goan Garam Masala. The masala is very potent and flavors curries and gravies perfectly. This curry is popular in Goan homes for breakfast, lunch or dinner and goes well with Goan Pao, pillow-soft freshly baked and sold by the local Poder at the crack of dawn, hence the dear dish every Goan adores to bits - Pao Tonak.
Cooked Black Beans

Different vegetables used for Tonak are Adsaney, Mushroom (monsoon special umbrella variety) and Yellow Peas. For some reasons unknown, the quality of Yellow Peas I get at my Indian grocery is very bad and part of the reason why I never make this dish often. Recently, I got my hands on Black Beans and I was sold to the idea of making Tonak with these shiny, black jewels.

The Black beans are a staple and regular part of many Mexican dishes like Mexican Black Bean Rice, Burritos stuffed with bean rice and Tortillas stuffing. I am smitten by the creamy flavor of the beans. Pair them with some fresh homemade Phulkas and your senses are sure to be vowed.

~ Black Beans Tonak ~
Prep Time: 8-10 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 3-4 servings

Black Beans (soaked overnight, pressure cooked) - 2 cups

Red Onion (finely chopped) - 1 and 1/2 cup
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

Goan Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Coconut Oil

For Garnish -
Coriander leaves (chopped) - 2 tbsp

Soak the Black Beans overnight. The next day pressure cook them for couple of whistles with little salt. Drain and keep aside. 
In a Kadhai, heat few spoons of oil and saute chopped onions. Get them to a reddish pink color. Add grated coconut and roast this mixture together on a low-to-medium flame. Once the onions have wilted and are cooked down and the coconut gets a toasty texture, turn off flame and allow to cool completely. Save 1/4 cup of the onion-coconut mixture and keep it aside. Grind this to a paste with Turmeric powder and little water. Save the rinsed water to be added later to the curry.
In the same Kadhai, heat a tsp of coconut oil and lightly warm the 1/4 cup of onion-coconut mixture. Add the ground paste now and add enough rinsed water to make a broth. Add Goan Garam Masala, little Salt and cooked Black Beans and bring to a boil. Simmer on low flame for 5-8 minutes. Turn off flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with Pao/ Phulkas.

Note - Use any Garam Masala of your choice if you don't have Goan Garam Masala. 


  1. Looks yumm!! Ahh, I can just imagine how good this dal tastes with coconut!

  2. @ Apu -

    Thank you. It tastes well with Puris as well.


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