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Recipe: Butter bean chilli

Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2005

Try out our recipe from the Ever Wondered About Food series

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Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a snack



  • 125 g (5 oz) masa harina, plus extra for dusting
  • pinch salt
  • 125 ml (4.5 fl oz) tepid water

Chilli beans

  • 150 g (6 oz) dried butter beans, pre-soaked
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 kg (2.2 lb) ripened tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 100 g (4 oz) jalapeño peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • Coriander sprigs to garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Mix the masa harina, salt and tepid water together in a bowl to make a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Cover the dough and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Cook the beans in a pan of boiling water for 15–20 minutes until tender, drain and keep warm in a covered pan.
  3. Divide the tortilla dough evenly into 8 pieces and roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface to a thin 12 cm (6”) wide round. Heat a griddle pan and fry the tortillas in batches for 3–4 minutes each side until crisp and just catching colour.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until softened but not catching colour. Add the tomatoes and seasoning and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and pulpy.
  5. Add the jalapeños and reserved beans and simmer for 1–2 minutes to warm through. Check seasoning.
  6. Serve the crisp tortillas and chilli beans garnished with coriander.






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