Header thumb feijao

My Brazilian Black Beans


and welcome back!

Today we going to learn something very popular in my country: Feijão - in portuguese, one of the most important part of traditional cuisine. If you ask for any brazilian you will understand it, it is like a national passion. We love it! There are over 20 types and variety of bean around the country but only two types are the nation's top favorites: black beans and brown beans.

"Feijão preto" or black beans are packed with BENEFITS:

1) Proteins - around 14g of protein per 100g - very good source of non-essential and essential amino acids;
2) Carbohydrates - low GI and very rich in soluble fibre - essential to balance blood sugar levels;
3) Low fat - great to add to salads to add texture and increase nutrition
4) Anti-ageing - rich in antioxidants
5) Source os minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese and vitamins B complex especially;
6) Prevents constipation, bowel diseases and disorders
7) Easy to prepare, store and freeze it.

It is a perfect balanced source of energy and nutrients. If we compare it to most of the other processed carbohydrates out there we will notice that beans very nourishing and safe option. In fact, beans are considered functional foods or food that benefit our health.

Traditional Brazilian beans are creamy and infused with aromatic spices and herbs. It's a ideal meal for winter or autumn season. It’s a warm meal, just like Brazilian people....haha. Have a go!


Ingredients – serves 6

1.5 litres of water
400g of dried pinto or black beans – soaked in water for 2 hours
1 brown onion – finely chopped
3–4 garlic cloves – finely chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoons ground paprika
1-2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/2 cup of parsley, chopped finely
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
5 small sprigs of thyme

Cooking instructions

Soak the beans for 4–12 hours in warm water. Drain and wash the beans. In a pressure cooker add the beans, 1.5 litres of water and bay leaves. Once boiling, turn the heat down to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. If you are using a normal pan, do the same process but you will have to cook the beans for longer this way. You will probably need 2 hours or more to cook the beans in a conventional pan. Check the water level regularly to avoid it drying out and add more water if needed.

In another big saucepan, add the olive oil, onions, garlic and chilli and sauté until the onion is translucent or golden brown. Add the beans by using a ladle and mix with the other ingredients. Add the remaining liquid and keep cooking for a few minutes. Add more water if you would like to make the sauce runny. Season with cumin, paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 10 minutes or more and serve hot.

Save one portion of beans without sauce, place onto a plate and mash them. Put the mash into the sauce and in a few minutes this will thicken it up. That’s how we do it!


Ronaldo Fulieri

Photo: Heidi Sterling