Recipes by type‎ > ‎Vegetarian‎ > ‎

Mexican bean stew

I tend to make two types of bean stew - a spicy one and a Mediterranean one. This spicy one is definitely my favourite. It is cheap, healthy and, despite its rather bland title, absolutely soaked in flavour. I don't know if it is authentically Mexican, just that the flavours remind me of Tex Mex cuisine.  I like to serve it with brown rice, as it gives a more nutty texture with a little bite.  If you have ingredients and time to make a salsa or guacamole to serve on the side, so much the better.  But a few spoonfuls of natural yoghurt mixed with a twist of lime and fresh coriander leaves will transform the dish into something else.  
  • 2 tins worth of different types of beans - could be kidney, bortelli, black eyed etc. If you are organised, use dried beans, soaked and boiled for a couple of hours
  • 1 onion, chopped small
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • half carrot, diced small
  • a little sprinkling of dried chilli flakes, if desired
  • half bottle passata (or less if you don't have half  a bottle's worth) or tomato paste mixed with water
  • small tin of sweetcorn
  • salt and pepper
  • dash of salsa habenera 
  • coriander leaves if you have some 

  1. If you are using dried beans, soak them overnight and boil vigorously for a couple of hours. Drain.  
  2. Fry an onion till golden and sweet.  Add the carrot, chilli flakes if using, and garlic and mix.
  3. Add the drained beans and passata or tomato puree mix and stir together well.  
  4. Simmer slowly for about half an hour.  The essential thing to check is that it does not dry out; nor should it become too liquidy.  
  5. Towards the end of cooking, add the sweetcorn so it is cooked through but not soggy.  
  6. Season and add a dash salsa habenera.  
  7. Serve with a tomato salsa, guacamole and/or yoghurt mixed with the tiniest drop of lime juice if you wish, or just enjoy as it is.
  8. Sprinkle coriander leaves over.