Lentil Biryani and The Great Vegan Bean Book Review


Hmm, lets see, do I need to eat more legumes, hell yes! and there is a perfect book to help me do that in so many different ways! It has a lot of my favorite things, beans, lots of beans, plant-based with options for gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free or oil-free. 

Kathy Hester‘s new book will blow you away. There are beans for breakfast, meals and even dessert(hello chickpea cookies and black bean fudgesicles). There are usual vegan meals, burgers, dips and then other cuisines and fusion recipes to choose from Indian, Mexican, Jamaican, Asian, French, Moroccan, you name it. If you dont win a copy at this giveaway, pick The Great Vegan Bean Book at amazon!

Kathy explains all the possible standard beans, along with variations for specialty heirloom beans. She describes which beans are in each family and that can be used interchange-ably in a recipe.

The book has nutrition information with each recipe.
Recipes to make your own staples like chorizo and chik-un patties.
Staples to keep food budget in check and also to avoid all the added preservatives.
Allergy friendly, gluten- and soy-free and no added oil and also an index for gluten and soy-free.

Photography in the book by Renee Comet is crisp and does justice beautifully to the dishes.  and pictures with almost all recipes is something I love about this book. 

I made this Smoky White Bean dip. I added a roasted Red bell pepper to it and spiced it up a bit more for my taste, and sent most of it and fresh veggies, packing with hubbs for his rafting trip. I dont think he got to eat much of it:) It was a definite hit with the omnis too.

I also used another batch to make sandwiches the next day. They will soon be posted in a separate post. I added some roasted Veggies and greens. Keep guessing which roasted veggies! 

I wanted to make the Hawaiian sliders and some dessert too and so so many things, but my house move has gotten in  the way.

You can check out many more tried and tested recipes from the book on Kathy’s blog tour, like these Pecan Chickpea Chocolate Chip cookies, butternut Squash Frijoles, These Chickpea Seitan Crispy patties & Coconut Pecan Blondies! 
Super Easy Lentil Biryani – published with permission from the publisher.
soy-free gluten-free oil-free

If you’ve had the longest day ever and still need to make dinner, this is the recipe for you. Throw everything into a pan or your rice cooker and dinner will be ready in no time!
1 ½ cups (279 g) brown basmati rice
4 cups (950 ml) water, plus more if needed
½ cup (96 g) lentils
¼ cup (35 g) chopped cashews
¼ cup (35 g) raisins
¼ cup (33 g) minced dried apricots
2 teaspoons minced ginger
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks or ½ teaspoon ground
3 black cardamom pods or ½ teaspoon ground
4 whole cloves or ¼ teaspoon ground
8 whole black peppercorns or ¼ teaspoon ground
10 coriander seeds or 1 teaspoon ground
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon salt

Yield: 4 servings
Total Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 40 to 60 minutes
Per 1 ½-Cup (340 g) serving: 
377.0 calories; 5.0 g total fat; 0.5 g saturated fat; 10.0 g protein; 76.5 g carbohydrate; 7.5 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol.

Stove-Top- Directions:
Put all the ingredients except the salt into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and
decrease the heat to low and cook until the rice and lentils are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Check after 30 minutes
and add more water if needed.
Add the salt and adjust other seasonings if needed and remove the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and cardamom
pods before serving.

Rice Cooker Directions:
The two differences between cooking this on the stove top and in your rice cooker is that you will use 2 cups
(380 g) brown basmati rice (use the measuring cup that came with your rice cooker) and add water to fill line 2
in your rice cooker plus 1 cup (235 ml) water in a regular measuring cup.
Put all the ingredients into the rice cooker and cook on the brown rice setting if you have one.
When your rice cooker beeps, taste, add salt, and taste again. Adjust the other seasonings if needed and remove the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and cardamom pods before serving.


The publishers are also giving away a copy of the book to one the blog readers!  

To Enter to win a Copy, just leave me a Comment about your favorite bean(other than chickpea ;)) and the favorite way you like them. 

***The Giveaway is now Over. ***


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  1. says

    Lentils!!! I make a giant pot of lentil chili every week!!! Through out the week we dress the chili up different ways. Lentil chili, tacos, burgers etc.. So yummy!!

  2. says

    Yellow split peas (besides chick peas, who doesn’t loooovveee chick peas??) are my favorite. I make a thick dal curry with them that includes lots of garlic and onions and eat it with rice or roti and a simple green salad w/ a homemade lime dressing or steamed broccoli and cauliflower. Now I’m hungry.

    • Eleanor says

      forgot …..love me some black beans in a myriad of soups. But I add them to salads, pasta, rice, quinoa……

  3. says

    Oh my, hard to choose a single favorite, but ONE favorite would be great northern beans, cooked the way my mother used to with tomatoes, onion and brown sugar. Best baked beans ever! Other favorites are pintos, black beans, lentils, kidney beans, lima beans…. (well, you get the picture)! :)

  4. says

    Black beans are my favorite. I like them the best in black bean and corn salsa, but lately I have been trying them in baked goods. They are perfect in chocolate muffins and brownies, providing a delicious way to sneak in some healthy legumes.

  5. says

    OK, so if I can’t mention the chickpea, I’ll go with kidney beans. I love beans of all sorts, but we probably go through more dark red kidney beans than any other — except chickpeas, of course, but we aren’t going there. ;)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. says

    Beans? Really, I love them all! If I have to choose, I’d say pinto beans. I like cooking them in all kinds of ways; the last thing I did using them was a pinto bean dip/hummus. Reading the comments reminded me that I *love* adzuki beans too, and I haven’t cooked them in way too long… They’ll be on our menu soon!

  7. says

    Blackeyed peas! I love to use them to make BBQ beans and greens, Hoppin’ John and more! They are also excellent simply “naked” on a salad. I’ve honestly never met a bean I didn’t like.

  8. says

    Hey, I like chickpeas! Grumble grumble … All right, I’m going to have to go with black beans – black beans and rice with a little bit of spice is fantastic, as is a good quinoa salad with black beans …

  9. Connor says

    I love mung beans, in all forms. Whether it is sprouts in slaws, salads, noodle dishes….they are so versatile. They make a fun replacement to any kind of shredded vegetable (cabbage, squash, carrot, broccoli, etc.), green beans and the nuttiness can even be used in place of peanuts and sesame seeds. Delicious!

  10. says

    Not fair that I can’t say the chickpea because they truly are my favorite! Although, I’ve had very good experiences with both fava and lima beans lately, so maybe I can switch it up for now. ;)

  11. says

    Beans beans beans, love me some beans! Lentils have become a favorite, especially my lentil soup. Secret to making it heavenly is adding grated lemon peel to the broth, and lemon juice to the soup just before it’s done. I would LOVE this cookbook to pieces!

  12. says

    I love Adzuki Beans. They were hard to find but alas I found them. I used a recipe by Scott Jurek with them… Oh Yum. So Good. Are there any Adzuki Bean Recipes in this book? I’ve liked what I’ve seen with the recipes on the blogs so far. Yummmm

  13. says

    Lately I’ve been loving black beans, cooked with spices and fruit (mango, strawberries, rhubarb…). But in the winter I love beans in soups!

  14. says

    I love black beans in homemade veggie tacos (avocado, hot sauce, fresh herbs and sauteed veggies). The are delicious and versatile!

  15. says

    Chick peas are my absolute fav, but lentils are a close second. I love them with eggplant and tomatoes, seasoned with rosemary and garlic, and served with spaghetti squash or whole wheat pasta

  16. says

    I just had to come back and say I’ve made this dish 3 times now, and it blows me away every time! All my coworkers are jealous when I bring it for my lunch. ;) Thank you so much for sharing it!

  17. Anonymous says

    I found wonderful tasty anasazi beans, little white beans with red spots. I like to serve them with a creamy soft jalapeno polenta…Yum

  18. Heather Cornbleth says

    Red lentils! There’s so much you can do with them. And they’re lower oxalate so my autistic son can eat them! (Along with chickpeas…)

  19. Jacky says

    Black beans are definitely my favorite. I lived in France for a year and couldn’t find them anywhere and it was devastating! I love them in burrito bowls.


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