Really fried beans

Refried beans is a mistranslation of refritos. A closer meaning is “really fried” beans as in very well cooked beans. Every now and again, we have mexican wraps using tofu, peppers and onions cooked in a texmex mix. However, I’ve wanted to try home made beans for ages. And gosh, they take ages to do but we were pretty pleased with the result.

Like a bit of an idiot, I didn’t seek out a Mexican recipe but instead picked the Refried Beans recipe on the Savvy Vegetarian site. I made a few amendments to the recipe.

Starting the night before, I washed a cup of dried beans and then soaked them in 5 cups of water. I left these overnight then drained away the water, put the beans in my pressure cooker with 2 pints of water and cooked them for about 20 minutes. I wanted them really soft. I drained that water (which was a dumb thing to do, should have kept some for cooking later) and then mashed the softened beans to a pulp. Kiddo was meant to help but she said the beans stank and ran out of the room as fast as her legs could take her. She’s fussy. They didn’t smell more than any other boiled bean. Here is the amended list of ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp ground nut oil
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 2 minced fresh garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. gr. cumin
  • 1 tbs paprika (I misread and put in a tablespoon instead of teaspoon, but they weren’t spicy at all)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • A glug of soy sauce – stated as optional. Next time I will defo leave this out as the result was too salty


  • Fry the onions and garlic in the oil until caramelised
  • Add the beans, tomatoes and spices
  • Cook for about 20 minutes on a low heat stirring frequently
  • Once cooked serve with taco shells, salsa, sourcream & chives, lettuce and cheese. We forgot the cheese but it was fine without

I enjoyed this dish very much. Unfortunately, the tacos were horrid – El Paso ones that were weirdly plastic-y. I am going to have a go at making my own next time.

Kiddo refused to eat the beans. She’s not very keen on new things or on things that look “stinky” but likes falafels and I think this paste would make a good base for falafels. So I’m going to try to make it again and persuade her to eat little falafels (devious parenting I know but I have to be inventive to get her to try new stuff!)


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