Cuban Black Beans


This recipe has been perfected by my beautiful best friend and husband, Aaron. He's adapted it over the years and tweaked it here and there. The thing I love most about this meal is that it lasts for 5 days in the fridge, and can help to add extra flavour and substance to other meals (even bolognese sauce!).  

It's best served with Spanish rice (recipe to follow) or with a fried egg and guacamole with salsa. 

Black beans are full of prebiotic fibre which helps to feed the beneficial bacteria of your large intestine. They are also a wonderful source of amino acids - particularly important when you are vegan or vegetarian and need to meet your daily protein intake.  


  • 2 cups dried black beans + reserve water from cooking
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • Generous slug of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, chopped into small discs
  • 1 red onion, sliced lengthways
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, finely diced
  • 1/2 green capsicum, diced 
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
  • 2 tomatoes, medium sized, chopped
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs mixed herbs
  • 1 tbs cumin powder
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: 1 of the following dried chilis: pasilla, guajillo, chipotle


  1. Soak beans and cumin seeds in plenty of water overnight (approx. 8-10 hours)
  2. Strain and discard water.
  3. Place beans, salt, bay leaf and dried chilli (optional) in a large stainless steel pot and cover with water.
  4. Bring beans to the boil and then simmer for 30-40 minutes until beans are almost cooked through.
  5. Strain beans BUT reserve cooking water.
  6. Using the same pot return to the stove (medium heat) and add oil. After heating oil add onions and cook until translucent. Then add jalapeño and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. 
  7. Then add tomato paste, cumin powder and mixed herbs, coat the onion mixture. Keep stirring until the mixture begins to dry (approx. 3 minutes). 
  8. Add strained beans, carrot, apple cider vinegar and lime juice to the pot. Then add enough of the reserved cooking water to reach the level of the bean mixture in the pot (about 1.5 cups depending on the size of your pot).  
  9. Cook bean mixture for 10 minutes.
  10. At this point check that the beans or properly cooked through. If not continue to cook until the beans are nicely soft (you may need to add more reserve cooking water if the mixture is drying). 
  11. Add coriander, chopped tomatoes, caspcium and corn. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
  12. Serve warm with Mexican rice and soft shell tacos.    

Serves 8.