Habas Condimentadas (spiced beans)


Habas Condimentadas

Originally I made this simple dish to mix with (or serve with) Chili con Carne. Since then it has taken pride of place as a vegetarian option at BBQs, topped baked potato for brunch and got rolled into burritos. Cooked with smoky ham or spicy chorizo and added to rice it makes a heck of a stuffing for pumpkin, marrow or mushrooms. Add some chili for the kick. Not a fan of Red Kidney Beans or (like me) you like to add splashes of colour? Use Black Eyed, Lima, Pinto, Black Turtle, White Beans or use a mixture. Hot or cold, vegetarian or not, plain or spicy .. beanz meanz yum 🙂

  • 500g red kidney beans OR mixed beans
  • 1 litre water
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • good handful of fresh lovage
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 – 3 bay leaves
  • 1 red onion
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 chili (optional)
  • 250g super smoky ham or chorizo (optional)


Place the beans in a large basin and cover them with clean cold water. Allow to soak for at least six hours. The beans will absorb the water and expand, so make sure you top up the basin a couple of times. I like to drain and wash the beans, then refill the basin at least once during the soaking process.

When the beans have soaked properly, drain them and place into a large saucepan with the water and stock. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to simmer.

Peel and crush the garlic. Chop the lovage coarsely. Stir into the simmering bean mix with the salt, bay leaves and cumin.

Peel the onion. Press the sharp “stick” end of the cloves into the onion and place into the simmering beans.

If you are using chili, remove the seeds and membranes then chop finely. Add to the bean mix.

Cover and simmer gently for at least 90 minutes. you will need to stir the beans every now and then to ensure they don’t stick to the pan and that there is still sufficient liquid.

If you are making the Carnosaur version, chop the ham or Chorizo into chunks and pan fry in a little olive oil

Top with a little coriander and a sprinkle of lemon. Serve hot or cold.