Thursday, February 14, 2008

Frijoles Mexicanas (Simple OR Spicy Pinto Beans For Toastadas and Burritos)

Frijoles Mexicanas or just plain melt in your mouth pinto beans are so satisfying! It is an amazingly simple dish and people don't often believe that there is not a drop of oil or butter in it. I learned to cook pintos from my friend Pat a loooong time ago and she used to put a little butter at the end. I used to put a tiny bit of olive oil instead for its health benefits until I saw that Anna doesn't add any fat at all. So now I don't add any either.

Amma loved this pinto bean dish and would say, "I will make the salsa if you make the beans". Children of all ages (ours and their friends) love to make their own tacos, tostados, nachos, or burritos with Frijoles!

8 Servings Each 3/4 cup serving contains: 70 calories


2 Cups Dry Pinto Beans
2 tsp Salt
1 Dry Red Chile, or 1 hot green Chile (Optional)
2-4 Tbsp Mexican Seasoning Spice Mix (for spicy Frijoles), optional

To Serve:
Warm Corn/Whole Wheat tortillas or roti/chapatis
Cashew/Tofu Sour cream
Grated Cheese
Romaine Lettuce, shredded
Tomatoes, Green Onions, JalapeƱos, etc sliced/chopped
Salsa I or Salsa II or Avocado Salsa


Sort the beans for rocks or other debris. Wash thoroughly and soak in plenty of fresh water to cover overnight.

Drain, rinse and place the beans in a large, heavy stainless steel pot with the whole dry red or green chili. Cover the beans with fresh water about one inch above the beans. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer. Let cook for about 45 minutes or until very soft and creamy. Even the broth should start to become creamy.

Add salt and simmer for 10 to 15 more minutes stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove from heat, fish out the chili and discard. Mash the beans a little (or a lot) if you wish. I like texture so choose to mash a little.

If you like spicy Frijoles, stir in the spice mix along with the salt and proceed as described above.

Serve hot with your favorite tortillas and toppings.

The beans can also be cooked in a pressure cooker to shorten cooking time by about 1/3; proceed according to manufacturer's directions.

Our family loves these beans with warm corn or whole wheat tortillas (or roti/chapatis - Indian bread just like tortillas), Cashew/Tofu sour cream, grated cheese, shredded romaine lettuce and any one of the fresh salsas such as Salsa I or Salsa II or Avocado Salsa.

Other dishes that go well with Frijoles are Cilantro Rice or Salsa Rice.

If one wishes to have a less calorie dense meal, it is easy to forgo the tortillas and just layer all the other ingredients in a bowl or on a plate for "bare" tostadas or burritos or use large romaine leaves instead to make tacos :)!

Buen provecho!!

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