Soak overnight and this stew is great when topped with an avo salsa.






Skill level

Average: 2.9 (29 votes)


  • 500 g dried black beans (see Note), soaked overnight
  • 8 allspice berries
  • 2 cloves
  • 6 garlic cloves, 2 whole, 4 crushed
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 dried chipotle chilli (see Note), soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes, thinly sliced

Avocado salsa

  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp green Tabasco or similar chilli sauce


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the beans.

Soaking time overnight

To make the avocado salsa, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Place beans in a large saucepan over high heat with 1.5 litres water. Place allspice and cloves in a muslin bag and add to pan with 2 whole garlic cloves and the cinnamon quill. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring often, for 2 hours or until almost soft.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden.

Place cumin and coriander seeds in a heavy-based frying pan over low heat and dry-roast for 3 minutes or until aromatic, but not burnt. The trick is not to let them change colour. Using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, grind seeds to a powder.

When onions are golden, add the remaining crushed garlic, ground spices and chilli, and cook for a further minute. Pour into the beans and stir well. Cook, topping up with extra boiling water if needed, for a further 1 hour or until beans are tender. Season with salt and remove muslin bag. Serve with avocado salsa.


• Dried black beans are available from Monterey Foods ( and Fireworks Foods (
• Dried chipotle chillies are available from Herbies Spices (, Monterey Mexican Foods ( and Fireworks Foods (


Photography by Alan Benson.