Frijoles (Colombian kidney bean & potato stew)

I first tried this heartwarming dish in the height of the scorching Valencian summer where such one-pot wonders go against the grain of the weather. Still, one bowl and I was hooked. Tasty food really can be this simple.

Flavour: Salty & savoury

Serves: 4 as light meal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups soaked, pre-cooked kidney beans
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped (see here for amateur tip on how to peel a tomato)
  • 2 cups water
  • half teaspoon salt
  • half teaspoon sugar
  • Black pepper to taste

Optional extras:

  • Coriander to garnish


  1. Pre-soak kidney beans, and ideally also pre-cook them before starting on this dish – see here for my bean-prep hack
  2. Scrub and chop potatoes into square-inch chunks, set aside
  3. Finely slice onions, set aside
  4. Finely mince garlic, set aside
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large wok or frying pan, and fry onions until they turn translucent
  6. Add the garlic and potatoes, stir to mix, and continue to fry for two minutes
  7. Add the tomatoes, salt and sugar, stir to mix, and continue to cook until the tomatoes are mushy – about 3 minutes
  8. Add the kidney beans and water, and cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced and is nice and thick – check that the potatoes are cooked through (they should be very soft and beginning to fall apart)
  9. Grind fresh black pepper into your frijoles, and take off the heat
  10. Serve your frijoles with rice, polenta, or Colombian soul-food, arepas – or, alternatively, eat it just as it is 🙂

One thought on “Frijoles (Colombian kidney bean & potato stew)

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