Discovering my Ancestral Roots Chili

by Heather Weightman, Open Heart Sangha


1 cup dried beans (black, tiger, mayocoba...), sorted, rinsed, and soaked in spring water overnight
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1-2 mild chilis (anaheim, pasilla, poblano, or jalapeño if you like it spicy), chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano (preferably Mexican) or a couple tsp fresh
cayenne to taste (start with a pinch; up to 1/4 tsp if you like it spicy)
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped or crushed tomato (fresh or canned)
juice of a small orange
sea salt (about 1 tsp)


Sauté the onion, chilis, and spices in the oil in a medium pot on medium-low heat until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring (do not brown). Add garlic and tomato and cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Add orange juice and beans (drained well) and cover with spring water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat for a low simmer, and cook covered until soft, about 2 hours. Add salt to taste.

Garnish with avocado, cilantro, and green onions. Serve with corn tortillas.

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