If you have been to a Mexican style restaurant in US, you have probably come across the mashed beans known as refried beans. Well, I had some tortilla chips and dried pinto beans in my cupboard, so I thought, why not try a bean dip? I thought the refried beans will be a quick and simple thing to make. To be honest, its simple, but it does take some time. Luckily, I made enough for two batches and froze one for another day. Yay! There is some technique to getting that lovely creamy mashed texture. This video helped me a lot.
I also learned something. The term refried beans is the result of Americans “English=izing” a spanish word refritos. The prefix “re” in English usually means something that is done over again. Like replay a song, retake a test, etc. But the same is not true in spanish. So while fritos does mean to fry/cook, “re” just means to do it really well. So, it is just well cooked beans. Okay, lesson over.
- 2c dried pinto beans- soaked overnight and pressure cooked with bayleaves for 2 whistles (must be very soft, even falling apart) – Don’t drain the liquid
- 3-4 green chilies minced
- 2 sm or 1 lg onion, diced
- 4 big cloves garlic
- 2 tsp dried mexican oregano, or other dried herbs
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- pinch of turmeric
- 2 Tbs butter + oil
Fry onions till brown (cook them really well for at least 15 minutes) in butter and oil. Add garlic, stir. Add the spice powders. Then add 1 ladle of beans without the liquid. Mash them really well with the onions in the pan. Add 2 more ladles of beans, along with a little cooking liquid. Continue to mash. Repeat untill all beans are in the pot (No need to add all of the liquid, just a little bit with the beans to cook with).
After mashing to the point you like, turn up the heat and keep stirring. Once beans start to thicken, reduce to medium and cook until you can run the spoon through the pan, and the bean mash does not immediately come back together. Then you’re done! I divided this in half, let the other half cool first, then freeze it in a plastic freezer bag, flattened.
Now, butter an 8×8 baking dish (or larger if you use the whole thing) and preheat oven to 350.
Spread the beans mixture in the dish, and top it with lots of chopped spring onions and shredded cheddar cheese(mine is sharp white cheddar). Bake until cheese melts, around 15 minutes. Serve with salsa and tortilla chips. **I also like to spread the chips on a cookie sheet and pop them into the oven for 5 minutes or so after taking out the bean dip, just to warm and crisp the chips!
This dip was really scrumptious and I topped it with homemade avocado salsa. Don’t leave out the spring onions if possible because I think that took it over the top (and JF agrees!).
- 1 ripe avocado, cubed
- 2 tomatoes, cubed
- 1 shallot, diced small
- 2 green chillies, minced
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt to taste
Mix together and let the flavors blend.