It is time to introduce you to one of my favorite side dishes, Cuban black beans. While it is easy to dazzle with a strong main course, it is the side dish that often brings a meal together. This hero of a side dish is delicious, inexpensive and the epitome of Latin American cuisine. So if you want a great accompaniment for a Cuban, Mexican or Spanish themed spread, these beans are right up your alley. Use the right blend of spices to make this simple dish a game changer.
How to prepare Cuban Black Beans in a few steps
1) Soak black beans overnight. Pressure cook the next day.
2) Sauté the onion and garlic, season with spices and add cooked beans.
3) Next, add fresh chicken stock, simmer and mash lightly.
4) Finally, add jalapenos, spring onions and cilantro.
Watch the video on how to prepare this side dish here.
What to serve with black beans
It is a great side dish for Cuban rice bowls, where it is served alongside cilantro rice and Cuban chicken. You can find my Cuban chicken recipe here and get started! Additionally, use it as the perfect filling for burritos and tacos. It is a great addition to Mexican rice bowls, served along with guacamole, sourcream, pico de galo and Mexican rice.
Cuban Black Beans
This dish has a smoky savory flavor with a kick of heat. For the health conscious people out there this dish is a must have as they are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and super low in calories. A healthy tasty easy to make dish, what more can one ask for. so let's get right into it.
Wash and soak 1 cup of dried black beans overnight.
Drain, add 1 cup of drinking water or ½ of fresh chicken stock mixed with ½ cup of water. Season with ½ tsp salt and cook until the beans are soft.
Heat a heavy bottom pan, add 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil, saute onions until it is light brown. Add garlic and sauté for a few min. Then add cumin and smoked paprika.
Add cooked beans with any remaining water. Add more chicken stock and simmer on low flame so that the beans absorb the flavors of spices and chicken stock.
Mash half of the beans to give it a creamy consistency. Check for balance of flavors and add salt accordingly.
Finally add jalapeno, spring onion and cilantro. Rest for a few min and serve warm.
Cooking black beans- I like to use a pressure cooker to cook beans. Pressure cook on high flame until the first whistle, lower the flame and cook for 10 more min. Open once the steam is out. Cooking in a mixture of stock and water adds more flavour to beans.
Single pot version- Saute garlic and onion in the pressure cooker. Add spices and soaked beans. Add 1 cup water or a mix of stock and water, season with salt and pressure cook as mentioned above. Open, add stock, simmer, mash lightly and add the rest of the ingredients.
Substitution- Jalapeno peppers can be avoided for less heat. Or it can be replaced with ½ tsp of smoked paprika.
Refrigerator friendly- Cuban black beans can be easily refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. Add little chicken stock or water while reheating on low flame for a creamy consistency. And in case the dish is not being served the day it’s made, avoid garnishing and add cilantro and spring onions while reheating.
Garlic- I like to use fresh Indian garlic in all my recipes for its flavor.