Spicy Black Turtle Bean Stew

Spicy Bean Stew

Superfood Beans

I have just discovered black turtle beans but I think they will become a staple in my cooking from now on. Economical and very nutritious they are versatile too. They are a bit like a small kidney beans with a good robust texture.

They are ideal for chilli type dishes but are good in salads too and in any bean recipe or as a meat substitute. Anyway I tried them out with this spicy stew and was delighted with the results.

These balck turtle beans are really economical, highly nutritious an dtaste great. This simple recipe could become part of your regular meals!

They are probably most available in wholefood shops although they are listed online at Tescos (but expensive) and Ocado (surprisingly cheaper than Tecos!). They should be between £1 and £1.50 for a 500g bag. And all you need is half a bag for four people.

Black Turtle Beans

Black Turtle Beans originate from Mexico and are used quite widely in Latin America. They are also called black beans but this is a bit confusing as there are other beans called black beans. I tried to find out why they are called black turtle beans but couldn’t throw any light on that other than it being to do with their back shiny exterior – which didn’t really make sense to me.

A Fabulous Superfood!

Anyway the other fabulous thing about these black beans is the fact that they are a real superfood! This is partly because of their high protein and fibre content and partly because of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they contain. Read more about their nutritional content here But the main thing is that they taste really good and have a great texture!

I served this bean stew with new potatoes but it would also be really good with rice – or as a baked potato filling. You can vary the spiciness of the dish by adding more or less chilli powder

Spicy Black Turtle Bean Stew


  • 250g / 8oz black turtle beans
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • 1 red pepper de-seeded and chopped
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cooking Directions

    Prepare the beans

  1. Place the 250g of beans in a large bowl and cover with three times the volume of water

  2. Soak for at least 12 hours or overnight

  3. Drain, rinse and place a saucepan of water

  4. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes to one hour

  5. Make the Stew

  6. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan

  7. Ad dthe onion and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally

  8. Add the cumin seeds and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes

  9. Add the chopped pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes

  10. Add the beans and tomatoes and stir

  11. Ad the paprika, chilli powder and coriander

  12. Swill out the tomato can with the hot water and add to the stew

  13. Add more hot water as required

  14. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes

  15. Add salt at the end of cooking time and stir thoroughly

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