Basic Beans

Beans form a major part of the daily diet in Mexico and, together with corn, provide protein. Once cooked, these easy-beans can be served with warm tortillas, bread or rice or added to a number of recipes such as the Beans in Mole recipe.


500g beans (black-eyed, kidney, haricot or pinto).
200g onions, peeled and finely sliced.
3 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
4 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil (or Rapeseed Chilli Oil to spice them up).


If you are using dried beans, wash them in a colander, place in a large saucepan with the onion, garlic and bay leaf, add enough water to cover by 10cm and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours, preferably 3 or 4, until tender. Check now and then to make sure they don’t dry out and are still covered with water. Add some salt and pepper and cook for another 20 minutes. Strain and add oil just before serving.

When using tinned beans, follow steps above, but use a lot less water and cook for a lot less time.