You’re going to start this recipe the night before or in the morning of the day you’ll need them.
1 onion, chopped
3 large carrots, diced
6 stalks of celery, diced
2 tablespoons or 1 sachet of tomato paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 – 2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke (if you don’t have any, sub smoked paprika for the paprika)
1 tablespoon each of cumin, coriander and paprika
2 or more tablespoons of sugar
salt to taste
oil for cooking
fresh chilli or chilli powder to taste
1 large potato per person
Rinse the beans and pick out any rocks or brown bits. Cover with plenty of water and leave to soak for up to 24 hours. Preheat your oven to 180 and wash, then prick, your potatoes before putting them in the oven.
Gently fry the onion, carrot and celery until soft. Add the powdered spices (but not the salt – this will make your beans go tough) and stir until fragrant. Add the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, liquid smoke, the rinsed beans and enough water to cover the beans plus about 3 cms. Simmer over a low – medium heat for an hour. The beans are done when they are soft to bite but not mushy. If your dried beans are old, they need a little more cooking time.
When they are nearly done add the salt and then sugar and chilli to taste. Serve over baked potatoes with a green salad.
Note: If you have a pressure cooker you can do the beans in that. In which case add less water and cook at high pressure for 8 minutes, allowing the pressure to reduce naturally. You can also do the beans in a slow cooker, but in this case never sub chickpeas or kidney beans as both these have to be brought to a high heat to cook properly.