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  • Writer's pictureGreens and Beans

Refried beans

"Once Orlov had too much crushed beans and died."

- Daniil Kharms (Russian absurdist poet)

It has bean a while! This is a super easy 1 pot, beany dish which is amazing on its own or as part of a big Mexican cook up.

Food engineer: Jed Coiley

*Feeds 2, low effort - get beany in 40mins, £1 a portion*


· 1 tin black beans.

· 1 tin kidney beans.

· 1 tin tomatoes.

· 1 brown onion.

· 2 cloves garlic.

· 1 stock cube.

· 1 teaspoon soy sauce.

· 2 teaspoons smoked paprika.

· 1 teaspoon cumin powder.

· 1 teaspoon garam masala.

· Sunflower oil.

· Salt and pepper.


1) Heat a medium saucepan on low, with a glug of sunflower oil and fry the onion with the lid on, cooking them low and slow brings out the natural sweetness and softens the onions to a lovely texture.

2) After about 5 mins add the garlic, and a couple of minutes later add all the spices, stir well so the onions are coated in the ground spices. Frying the spices like this will release their flavours giving it that punch!

3) Drain the black and kidney beans and add them to the pan along with the tinned tomatoes.

4) Add the stock cube to 100 ml of boiling water and mix well before adding to the pot along with the soy sauce, now leave the beans on a low simmer for a good 15-20 mins, stirring often to ensure you don't get any sticking on the bottom of the pan. As it begins to thicken up you might need to add more water, or if it’s too liquidy, leave the lid off for a while.

5) You want to reach a thick almost paste like consistency, to pump up the gloopyness use the back of the spoon to mash some of the beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6) Serve this with rice, or in a warm wrap with salad.

Top tip: The longer you cook this, the better it's going to be - let those flavours develop!! Also sub in any beans you have lying around, the more the merrier.

Level-it up: Picture the scene. A stack of fluffy wraps. Trays of roasted, spicy veg. Bowls of vibrant salad. Piles of smokey aubergine. Jars of Jalapeños and salsas. And front and centre? A pot of steaming beans. Describe a better dinner party. Bean out.

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