Black Bean and Sweet Potato Hotpot with Cornbread Topping

6 portions


350g black beans*

Kombu seaweed*

2 red onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

cold pressed rape seed oil, olive oil or sunflower oil

1 stick celery, diced

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced small

1 (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes

sea salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

tomato puree


cornbread topping;

150g Suma sunflower margarine or cold pressed sunflower oil

170g polenta (cornmeal)

170g white spelt flour or plain flour

sea salt

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon of 100% maple syrup

300g organic coconut milk

1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar

125 g sweet corn

chilli flakes, optional

1 tablespoon fresh coriander,  optional


Wash the black beans and soak overnight or for 6-8 hours in cold water.

Pour off the soaking liquid, place in a pot with plenty of cold water and a piece of kombu seaweed.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are soft. Drain and set aside.

Saute the chopped red onion in a little cold pressed oil over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the celery and sauté for a further minute. Add the sweet potato, tomato and 2 tins of water (750mls) to the pot. Stir in a good pinch of salt, and the ground cumin and smoked paprika. Put a lid on top, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the cooked black beans and 1 tablespoon of tomato puree. Season with sea salt if needed.

Pour the mix into a 23cm lasagne dish.


Make the cornbread topping.

Heat the oven Gas 4,180C, 350F.

If using sunflower margarine place in the oven to melt. In a large bowl pour in the cornmeal, spelt  flour, pinch of salt, baking powder and mix together. Mix the coconut milk, maple syrup and rice vinegar together.

Whisk into the flours until well combined. Stir in the sweet corn. If using fresh coriander stir in also. With a spoon drop the cornbread batter on top of the bean and sweet potato. Spread out to the edges of the dish. If using chilli flakes sprinkle on top. Place in the centre of a preheated oven until set and lightly golden on the top.


*As an easier option black beans are available already cooked in tins.

Use 550g of rinsed drained tinned beans.


Kombu seaweed is a member of the kelp family. It carries toxic and radioactive waste from the body and promotes the growth of hair and a clear complexion. Use in the cooking of beans as it helps soften them and make them more digestible.