Black bean chilli

    2 hours 45 min

    This main dish has a rich, smoky flavour and tastes great with lemon-scented rice. This dish makes up one part of of a Tex-Mex vegetarian buffet and is ideal for serving alongside green rice, salsa cruda, stir-fried vegetables, rich roast onions, and coriander and cabbage slaw (all of which can be found on this site).

    7 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) black beans
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
    • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
    • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1-2 tablespoons chilli powder
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
    • 350 g (12 oz) onions, chopped
    • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 400 g (14 oz) canned chopped tomatoes
    • ½ teaspoon Hickory Liquid Barbeque Smoke Marinade, optional
    • Salt
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • To garnish: chopped fresh coriander

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:2hr30min  ›  Ready in:2hr45min 

    1. Soak the beans overnight in water to cover. Next day, drain them, cover with fresh water, bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes. Drain again, add 1.2 litres (2 pints) of fresh water and the bay leaf and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, heat a small, heavy-based frying pan. Add the cumin seeds; when they begin to darken, add the oregano and stir for 10 seconds. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the cayenne pepper, chilli powder and paprika, then crush to a powder with a pestle and mortar.
    3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onions for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, then add the spices and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring.
    4. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the liquid smoke marinade, if using, and cook the sauce over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
    5. Pour the spiced tomato sauce into the beans and simmer for 30 minutes-1 hour 30 minutes, depending on the age of the beans (older beans take longer to cook), until they are thoroughly soft, but not breaking apart. Add more water during cooking if necessary and stir occasionally to ensure they do not burn on the base. Add salt and extra cayenne to taste.
    6. Just before serving, stir in the vinegar and garnish with chopped coriander.
    7. Tip: Liquid Smoke, available in some supermarkets, adds an unusual, smoky overtone to food, but use it sparingly.


    Nutrition is calculated for one serving of black bean chilli, green rice, salsa cruda, stir-fried vegetables, rich roast onions plus coriander and cabbage slaw (all found on this website).

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    Reviews in English (2)


    Really delicious, I'm going to make this one of my staples.  -  12 Jun 2010


    Very much liked this recipe. Reduced things to make it two servings. Served with warmed corn tortillas.  -  15 Sep 2013