Algerian Chili Beans

Servings: 4
Preparation time: 7hours
Active time: 50 minute
Total time: 8 hours +

1 pound (2 cups) small navy beans, soaked
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 small dried red chillies, seeded
15 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs sweet paprika
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp ground cumin
6 ounces tomato paste, canned
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
7 cups water or vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp cayenne or to taste
20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 1/2 tsp salt
10 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
cider vinegar or red wine vinegar, optional


1.  Drain the beans. 

2. Place a large soup pot over medium high heat, heat the oil, and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until tender, for about 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Add the chillies, garlic, paprika, pepper, and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Stir in the tomatoes and 1 cup of the water or broth and bring to a boil.

6. Add the beans, the remaining 6 cups water or broth, the bay leaves, cayenne, and 10 of the parsley sprigs tied together with cotton string. Lower the heat to medium low, cover, and cook the beans until tender, 1 to 2 hours.

7. Before serving, discard the chillies, bay leaves, and tied parsley. Season with salt. Stir in the reserved minced parsley and cilantro. Serve hot with vinegar on the side, if you like.

*The older the beans, the longer they will take to cook.