Rushin' Russian Red Beans

"I first came across the idea of red kidney beans in damson sauce in Rose Elliot's "The Bean Book". I've since discovered that Rose's recipe is based on a Russian dish called Lobio. I've made a few tweaks to Rose's recipe, including making it more 'instant' by using canned kidney beans. Traditionally you're supposed to serve this dish cold, but we can rarely manage to wait that long (I did say "rushin") so I serve it hot as a main dish, over baked potatoes; usually with salad and coleslaw. If you can wait, this is lovely served cold as intended. I use my own home made jam in this recipe (Damson Jam Recipe #139722) but if you can't find damson jam, plum jam can be substituted (warning: plum jam is sweeter so I suggest starting off with a smaller amount and adding to taste). Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side dish."
photo by Mamas Kitchen Hope photo by Mamas Kitchen Hope
photo by Mamas Kitchen Hope
Ready In:




  • Put the jam, vinegar, garlic, basil and coriander in a saucepan; cook gently over a low heat until the jam has melted.
  • Empty the contents of the can (including the water) into the damson sauce mixture and bring to the boil.
  • Cook on a low to medium heat for about 5-8 minutes until the liquid has reduced to a good saucey consistency (not too runny, not too thick!): season with a pinch of salt and good grind of black pepper.
  • Serve hot or cold: your choice.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. I'd have to agree with Mammas Kitchen on this - the herbs didn't do it at all for me. I found this recipie quite eatable, but not my fave way of having red beans.
  2. I did like the sweetness the jam added to this along with the punch from the garlic but I was not fond at all of the taste of the basil and coriander. If I try this again I will reduce them or leave out or try some different herbs. Sorry- it just was not my thing I guess. I DO love kidney beans and garlic and was hoping this would be something new to add to my collection.


I live with my husband and 2 cats in Worcester Park; a quiet typical 1930s suburb (which no one has ever heard of!) about 12 miles South West of London. I'm a fair weather gardener and as my husband is a vegetarian I grow a few easy vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, mainly in containers. My husband loves growing flowers, the brighter the better, and we have a pretty garden as a result. Our cats, Araminta and Purrl, like it too! I do a lot of cooking and try to keep our diet as healthy and varied as possible. Although I work full time, I use very little in the way of pre-prepared foods. This is partly because of the limited choice of vegetarian meals, which I think are overpriced anyway; but mainly because I like to know what goes in my food! I love using the Internet for all the great ideas it gives me. Last year I participated in the Zaar World Tour (under my previous public name Caroline Blakey), which was great. Mr B and I tried lots of new foods and discovered new favourite meals. Researching recipes for the Tour was really interesting, however as I didn't have time to try them all, some were posted untested. I'm still working my way very slowly through them. To make matters worse I keep seeing other recipes I want to save and have also participated in Zaar world Tour II. So many recipes, so little time to make them! <img src=""> My 'rules' for posting recipes are a) if I wouldn't make a particular recipe, I won't post it and b) if my husband wouldn't eat it, I won't post it. This means that all my recipes are vegetarian friendly. As you will see from the number of recipes saved in my cookbooks, I particularly enjoy making jams and chutneys; I'd say it was one of my favourite hobbies. We always have a good supply of home preserves; my friends and work colleagues are well supplied too. If we won the lottery (say £5m, as a good number) we'd like to give up work, move to the country and buy a place with a bit of land. In my dreams this would be a manor house or old vicarage, with a walled garden, an orchard where I could keep hens, a vegetable garden, etc, etc, etc! In my more realistic moments (the £1m win perhaps) I would like to run a B&B, perhaps offering Vegetarian taster weekends. Luckily it costs nothing to dream.......I’d also love more time to read, do embroidery, learn a language, see more of the countryside; and of course play on Zaar.
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes