Pinto Beans in Indian Style Basic Tomato Sauce

Looking to add more high-quality, plant-based protein into your diet? Try some beans! Beans are an excellent protein source and healthy substitute for meat, which is higher in fat and cholesterol. These tasty legumes are loaded with iron, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, and soluble fiber.

While canned beans are convenient and good to use when you’re in a pinch, dry beans are more cost efficient, fresh, natural, and environmentally friendly. If using canned beans, look for varieties with no chemical preservatives and be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any excess sodium.


Gas and upset stomachs are a common side effect of bean consumption. To reduce your chances of these effects, try these suggestions:

  • Soak beans overnight (8 – 12 hours). Throw soaking water and cook in fresh water.
  • Use a pressure cooker or slow cooker.
  • Chew beans thoroughly.
  • Avoid feeding legumes to children under 18 months.
  • Experiment with different sizes of beans. Smaller 
beans like lentils and peas digest most easily. Soybeans and black soybeans are often most difficult to digest.
  • Season cooked beans with sea salt.
  • Add a large strip of dried kombu seaweed to the pot prior to boiling, and remove once finished. This also adds minerals.
  • Add fennel, bay leaves, garlic, ginger or cumin during cooking. This also adds flavor!
  • Add a small amount of apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar during soaking or cooking.
  • Take enzymes with your meal.


Beans freeze well for a month. You can cook large quantity and freeze in small batches. I love using a crockpot to cook beans. Here is a simple yet delicious recipe. You can use any beans and adjust cooking time.

How to cook beans at home

YIELD: 3 cups    PREP TIME: 8 hrs soaking time   COOK TIME: 1 – 1.5 hour (pressure cooker or stove top), 6 – 9 hours (crockpot)

Ingredients for home cooked beans 

  • 1 cup dried pinto beans (or any beans of your choice – black beans, chickpeas, red kidney beans, adzuki beans, cannellini beans)
  • 4 cups of water for soaking
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar for soaking (optional)
  • 3-4 cups of vegetable stock or water for cooking
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large strip of kombu


  1. Soak 1 cup of dried beans in 4 cups of filtered water and add 1 Tbsp of apple cider or white vinegar if using. Leave it overnight or at least 8 hours.
  2. Throw the soaking water. This helps to get rid of the phytic acid.
  3. Choose any of the following methods to cook the beans:


Stove top: Add soaked, drained beans, 3-4 cups of stock or fresh filtered water, salt and kombu, in a heavy bottomed pot and bring it to a boil. Then simmer for about an hour or until beans are tender. Pinto and black beans cook faster than chick peas and kidney beans. Discard kombu after beans are done.

Slow cooker/ Crockpot:  Add soaked, drained beans, 3 cups of stock or fresh filtered water, salt and kombu, in a crockpot. Pinto beans will take 6 hours on HIGH setting. Chick peas will take 8-9 hours on HIGH. Most of the other beans will be done in 7-8 hours on HIGH setting in a crock pot. Discard kombu after beans are done.

Pressure cooker: Use the instructions of your pressure cooker because different kinds of pressure cookers have different timings. Most likely it will be done in 45 – 55 min. Discard kombu after beans are done.

You can cook beans yourself using any of the methods above or use good quality organic canned beans. I soak my beans overnight and use either slow cooker or a pressure cooker to cook them.


We will use the basic Indian style tomato sauce to make pinto beans today!


Add cooked beans to the sauce, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5-7 minutes.


Adjust seasoning. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley, and you are done!


Here is the recipe!

Pinto Beans in Indian Style Basic Tomato Sauce

SERVES: 4-6    PREP TIME: 5 minutes    COOK TIME: 10 minutes



  1. If using canned beans: wash and drain the beans.
  2. Place 2 cups or whole recipe of the basic Indian style tomato sauce in a heavy bottomed pan.
  3. Add cooked beans and bring it to a boil. You may need to add some stock or filtered water if using canned beans.
  4. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  5. adjust seasoning and garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!


Pinto beans cooked in Indian style basic tomato sauce is a yummy recipe that goes well with rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat and the like.

Leave a Comment or Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s