A simple but super tasty vegan bean stew made entirely in an ActiFry!
I love to play around with different cuisines - Italian, Tex-Mex, Indian, Chinese, Greek... but Madagascan cuisine is definitely new to me! So when Tefal asked me to try out this Madagascan bean stew in their ActiFry Genius* air fryer, I was really excited to dip my toe into the Madagascan water (not literally, though that would be pretty amazing too).
I've never been to Madagascar, so I can't vouch for the authenticity of this recipe, but as usual, I'm far more concerned with how something tastes than how authentic it is, and this Madagascan bean stew tastes pretty flipping amazing!
What is an ActiFry?
If you've never heard of an ActiFry, you first question is probably - what on earth is an ActiFry?
The ActiFry is an air fryer - an appliance that cooks foods using a jet of hot air. It needs very little (if any!) oil, meaning it can be a healthier way to cook. It has a 'paddle' that rotates through 360° to gently stir the food as it cooks, meaning you can literally just dump in the ingredients, and leave it to do its thing - the ActiFry mixes everything together, and makes sure absolutely nothing sticks to the pan.
The ActiFry Genius has 9 different preset modes, or you can just set the temperature and cooking time manually. If I'm entirely honest, I didn't even read the manual (lazy? me?), and I still managed to work it without any problems - it's very straightforward!
What can you cook in an ActiFry?
The ActiFry is famous for making the best homemade chips (fries!) ever, using only one small spoonful of oil.
They are literally the best - the rotating paddle means they get nicely coated in the oil, they cook evenly, and they get beautifully crispy.
But you can use an ActiFry for so much more than just chips! I used the ActiFry app to choose this Madagascan bean stew from a collection of 300 different recipes. A lot of the recipes in the app contain meat, but can easily be adapted to be vegetarian - this bean stew actually started life as a beef stew, but a couple of simple subtitutions made it vegan!
The app contains all sorts of recipes - stew, stir fry, risotto, popcorn, salads, and lots more. If you don't want your food to be stirred as it cooks, you can also remove the paddle - I even used the ActiFry to make chocolate brownies (another recipe from the app). Though now I am wondering what would happen if you did stir the brownie mix as it cooks... I think it might need to happen, for curiosity's sake.
Potato and bean stew
Back to the stew! When I veganised the original beef stew recipe, I realised that my version would contain both potatoes and beans, and I wondered whether it would feel too carb-heavy - especially since I wanted to serve it with rice! But in the end, it worked beautifully - you just end up with smaller amounts of each, that's all. I love potatoes in curries and stews, and beans are always a great protein-rich base for this kind of dish.
Start by cooking the potatoes in the ActiFry with a chopped onion, then add the remaining ingredients.
The ingredients list for this bean stew is super simple - you don't need dozens of spices, as you might expect. The main flavour comes from a good dollop of pureed ginger, which adds a gorgeous warmth to the dish. There's also garlic, tomato puree, and a big handful of tasty rocket (arugula). You really don't need a complicated ingredients list to make a flavourful dish!
Just add all the ingredients to the ActiFry, and leave it to cook. The end result is full of different flavours and textures - a really satisfying vegan dinner!
360° Cooking Event
To help celebrate the 360° cooking ability of the ActiFry, Tefal will be hosting a 360° cooking event on Exmouth beachfront - on a rotating Ferris wheel! You can head down for a free dinner cooked entirely in an ActiFry, and check out the versatility of the appliance yourself.
As another nod to the circular nature of cooking in an ActiFry, we bloggers are passing the ActiFry challenge round to each other - so next, head over to Slimming Eats to find another ActiFry recipe! And don't forget to grab yourself an ActiFry* of your own so you can give this Madagascan bean stew a try.
📖 Printable Recipe
Madagascan bean stew
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- 200 g (~ 7 oz) baby new potatoes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 400 g tin black beans, drained but not rinsed (240g, or ~ 1 ¼ cups, when drained)
- 400 g tin kidney beans, drained but not rinsed (240g, or ~ 1 ¼ cups, when drained)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon pureed ginger
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- Black pepper
- 250 ml (~ 1 cup) vegetable stock
- ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 large handful rocket (arugula)
- Cooked rice, to serve (optional)
- Cut the baby new potatoes into quarters, and add to the ActiFry with a dash of oil. Set the ActiFry to 220°, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the chopped onion, and cook for a further 4 minutes.
- Next add the beans, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, tomato puree, and seasoning. Pour over the vegetable stock.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a small dash of water, until smooth. Add this to the ActiFry as well. Cook for another 15 minutes.
- Add the rocket, and cook for 4 more minutes, until wilted. I also added a few extra wedges of tomato along with the rocket, just for a slightly different texture!
- Serve hot with rice, if desired.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.
Got some rocket (arugula) left over? Try stirring it through a warm salad - like this sweet potato and quinoa salad with tahini dressing:
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