Mexican Refried Beans with Chocolate Sauce

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Appears in

Real Chocolate: Over 50 Inspiring Recipes for Chocolate Indulgence

Real Chocolate

By Chantal Coady

Published 2003

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This is a variation on the Venezuelan staple caraotas. Eaten ‘out there’ (as the colonials would say), it is usually served as a breakfast dish, with arepas, a kind of white maize griddle cake, white cheese and fried eggs. At home, we often have this as a brunch dish. It takes a few days to make, and tastes best after three or four days. If you don’t have much time, you can pressure-cook the beans without even pre-soaking them. This way you can cook them one day and eat them the next.

You can serve these with many other things, chicken, soft tortillas, scrambled, poached or fried eggs with chocolate vinegar (see the pan-seared chicken recipe), bacon, crumbly white cheese such as Wensleydale – the cheese recently been given such a boost by Wallace & Grommit.


  • 250 g small black beans from South America (not black-eye beans)
  • 2 red onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 15 g butter
  • good 5 cm chunk of very fresh ginger, chopped finely or grated
  • 1 fresh red chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped, or more to taste
  • 200 ml tomato passata
  • salt and pepper
  • 25 g unsweetened cocoa powder or chocolate
  • fresh coriander leaves or flat-leaf parsley, to garnish


Two days ahead, put the beans to soak in cold water overnight.

Next day, drain, cover with fresh water, bring to a simmer and cook gently until really tender. Gently sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil and butter for 10 minutes or so, until golden. Add the ginger and chilli, and cook for a minute or two, then add the drained cooked beans and the passata. Season with salt and pepper and leave overnight for the flavours to develop.

Next day, simmer gently for an hour. Stir in the cocoa or chocolate and garnish with the coriander just before serving.

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