Menestra de porotos is an Ecuadorian bean stew, made with beans simmered in a sauce of onions, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, chili powder and cilantro or parsley.
- 1 lb dry beans, soaked overnight
- 2-3 tbs oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup of diced and peeled tomatoes (fresh or canned)
- ½ tsp achiote or annatto powder
- 1 tsp cumin seeds – whole
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder, more or less to taste
- 8 or more cups water
- 2-3 tbs finely chopped cilantro or parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Ecuadorian style rice
- Fried ripe plantains, or
- Tomato and onion curtido salsa
- Carne asada style steaks, pork, fish or Fried eggs
- Aji criollo hot sauce
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a saucepan or pot, add the diced onions and crushed garlic, let cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, achiote powder, cumin seeds and ground cumin, chili powder, and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Add the soaked beans and simmer for about 2 hours or until tender. Cooking time for beans depends on the type of beans and their freshness.
- Add salt to taste, adjust any other seasonings to taste.
- Mix in the chopped cilantro or parsley. For extra flavor, you can make an additional batch of refrito with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and cumin to add in at this point.
- Serve with Ecuadorian style cooked rice, fried plantains, salad with tomato and onion curtido, fried or grilled meat (or fish /poultry/egg), avocado slices and some good aji or hot sauce on the side.