The smokiness of these black beans comes from dry roasting cumin and coriander seeds with oregano.
The smell of the spices as its gentle smoke reaches your nose is absolutely divine, like the smell of freshly tanned leather. There are high spice notes from the sweet coriander, earthiness from the cumin, and a complex herbaceous scent from the oregano.
Oregano is a wonderful undertone for black beans. It serves to pull out, and enhance, some of the subtle, naturally-sweet flavors of the beans and the tomatoes. In this recipe, we also add garlic, onion, bay leaf, black pepper, and lime juice, for a delightfully fresh, balanced taste.
I hope you find this recipe distinctive, yet familiar, and that you give it a try. It is so easy to make too. Just remember to prepare a day in advance by soaking your dry black beans. After that, you are set. While the beans simmer away on the stove, you can be doing something else.
This recipe is a perfect opportunity to learn to cook beans from scratch if you haven’t already.
The process of cooking from scratch is very rewarding. It is also super inexpensive and tasty compared to the canned option. For a reference on cooking beans from scratch, please see my guide.
However, if you are short on time, and you prefer to use canned beans for this recipe, I give instructions for this in the notes below and you can complete this recipe in 30 minutes.
Black beans are a special bean, because they have a warming effect on the body. This makes them perfect to have during the cold season. They will help keep your insides warm.
One cup of beans is also a nutritional powerhouse, containing 15 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber, and significant amounts of folate, copper, manganese, Vitamin B1, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
Black beans, given their black color, are actually the highest source of antioxidants in the bean kingdom. Eating these beans will help to combat free radicals, reduce inflammation, and protect against chronic disease.
Black Beans With …
These black beans are yummy with basmati or jasmine rice, or with tortilla, tacos, or burritos. You could also add extra water, and enjoy it as a black bean soup with a dollop of sour cream on top.
If you want to embellish it, it would be very good with cheddar cheese, or with avocado garnish.
Along with it, something like roasted butternut squash, or any roasted vegetable on the side, would be perfect.
This recipe makes a lot. Like any bean or lentil dish, Smoky Oregano Black Beans freeze up really well. Make portions for future dinners and keep them for a rainy day.
This is one of the keys to ensuring that you have home-cooked food to eat on a regular basis.
Recipe for Smoky Oregano Black Beans
Helpful Kitchen Tools:
- 2 cups dry black beans, soaked (for instructions to make this with canned beans, see notes)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup onion, finely diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seed
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups diced tomatoes or tomato puree
- 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or coriander leaf, minced
- Soak black beans for 6 hours, or overnight. Drain, and rinse a couple of times. Place beans in a saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Add garlic, onion, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook about 1 hour, partially covered, until beans are soft. *** If you would like to cook your beans in a pressure cooker, add the same ingredients into the cooker. Bring to high pressure, reduce the heat, and cook for 15 minutes under pressure. Turn off the heat, and allow the pressure to come down naturally. Remove lid, and continue with the next step. (For instructions on how to use a pressure cooker safely, and advice for purchasing pressure cookers, please see this guide.)
- Meanwhile, place a small skillet on medium-low heat. Add cumin and coriander seeds. Stir continuously until evenly browned, steaming, and aromatic. Add oregano and toss to slightly brown. Cool spices and grind them in an electric spice grinder, or by hand in a mortar and pestle. Add to beans, along with remaining salt, black pepper, and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Finish with fresh lime, coriander, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish Smoky Black Beans with a dollop of sour cream. For other serving ideas, consider the options I listed in the section Black Beans With … in the article above. Enjoy!