“Growing up in Brooklyn, our kitchen was a melting pot of my mother’s Southern cooking and the different recipes that she picked up from our Caribbean and Latin American neighbors. Beans play a special role in these regions,” says Ibraheem Basir, who now lives in Berkeley, Calif. Influenced by his mother’s dishes, he started a Dozen Cousins, a line of seasoned and ready-to-eat beans packaged in pouches you can heat in the microwave. There are five varieties, slow-simmered, preservative-free, vegan, and prepared with avocado oil ($3.99 for 10 ounces). Cuban Black Beans, mildly spiced and saucy, and Mexican Cowboy Pinto Beans, simmered in tomato sauce and punched up with green chilis and jalapenos, create excellent side dishes stirred into rice or in a salad. Refried Black Beans and Refried Pinto Beans, both bolstered with crushed tomatoes and spices, are tasty dips or spreads for a burrito. Trini Chickpea Curry has an enticing scent and can be a main dish when topped with chicken, shrimp, or tofu. Basir says his daughter and her 11 cousins, and the great family dinners they enjoy together, inspired the name. The company also contributes to nonprofits that help with socio-economic health disparities affecting Black and brown communities. Available at Whole Foods Market locations or adozencousins.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at email@example.com.