Purple beans in a Magic Mexican Bean Pot

Digging around in a Mexican Market in Staten Island, NY called Frutas y Abarrotes Mexico, I found some curiously large Purple dried beans. The only package on the shelves seemed destine for one of my magic Mexican clay cooking pot. These charming purple beans are also featured on Rancho Gordo as Ayocote Morado Beans (Purple Runners) are meaty, plump and produce a lovely bean broth and very easy to prepare.

In our family we believe in the cooking properties of the Magic Bean Pot. This is the name one of my children gave an old Mexican clay bean pot in my kitchen. “Oh… we are going to use the Magic Bean Pot today”… gets the whole family excited and involved.

It’s not a myth, over the years my favorite bean pot has developed wonderful seasoning and it is like cooking with an old friend everytime I use it… yes, its a positively magical bean pot.

I had just gotten a new shaped Mexican clay bean pot from El Metezo in Chicago. I nick named it “The Pretty Lady”, since the bean pot shape seems like a pretty lady with a narrow top and two hand-les resting on a bulbus bottom. This traditional design was created to keep beans very moist and plump while cooking. These purple bean were definitely very unusual and would bring some interesting flavors to my new clay pot. Since it was new, I boiled some water in the pot first on low heat for about thirty minutes to prepare it for its maiden bean cooking voyage.

“Pretty Lady” traditional Mexican bean pot.

Place in the bean pot, 1 lb of Frijoes Ayocote and enough water to cover the beans with an extra 2 inches of water. Remove and clean to look for any twigs, stones or leaves. Boil for about an hour and turned off for a couple hours or skip the first boil and soak the beans overnight. When ready to cook, again add additional water to cover at least two inches over the top of the bean. Do not add any seasonings. Cook the beans until tender about 2 hours.

Cooked purple beans served in a clay bowl

In a separate small pan or stove top clay pot saute

1 chopped onion in

1 Tablespoon of olive oil until golden.

Add 2 dried Avocado leaves crumbled,

2 dried hot peppers of you choice crumbpled,

2 cloves of chopped garlic,

1 teaspoon of cumin and saute for 1 minute.

Add one cup of the cooked purple beans and cook a minute more. Let cool a little then using caution place the small pans contents in blender until lightly blended. Then pour the mashed bean and seasoning mixture in to the main pot of beans. Simmer 10 mins and add salt and pepper to taste.

The beans will lose a little of their purple brilliance and become a purplish brown but they are a lovely meaty bean.

Cooked purple beans served in a clay bowl

Two holidays I like to particularly find significant to use these purple beans are for the Day of the Dead and for an Indigenous Thanksgiving.
For the Day of the Dead, purple is a traditional color used in altars for the celebration to signify morning for the loss of loved ones. A delicious bowl of purple beans seems like a nice poetic touch.
For a New World Indigenous Thanksgiving, beans are one of many nutritious food contributions originating in the new world. I like to have at least one bean dish as part of the Thanksgiving feast. These unusual heirloom beans definitely stand out and are very tasty.