Chocolate Bean Chilli with Walnuts

chocolate bean chilli

In the Mexican beach town of Playa del Carmen, we stumbled on a very special little restaurant that used chocolate in all the dishes on the menu. Intrigued by the idea, we decided to try some of the more unusual items, such as chocolate salad, chocolate ceviche and chocolate lasagne. From that experience, we learnt that everything doesn’t taste better with chocolate (their desserts were amazing, though). One Mexican dish that is great with chocolate is their bean chilli, or mole. Our recipe is something of a mix between the Mexican mole and a chilli con carne. We have added walnuts to give it some crunch. You can give this dish even more depth by replacing 120ml of water with red wine.

Time: 1 hour

Serves: 6–8


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, olive oil or ghee
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, or 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 fresh chilli, deseeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 corn cobs, kernels cut off or 150g frozen corn kernels
  • 2 large celery sticks, finely sliced
  • 150g walnuts, very finely chopped
  • 300g dried mixed beans, soaked and cooked, such as kidney, black and adzuki, black-eye or borlotti
  • 800g canned whole plum tomatoes
  • 250ml water
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 60g 80 per cent minimum dark chocolate, broken into pieces

To serve:

  • 120ml plain or vegan yoghurt
  • 1 large handful coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 corn tortillas, toasted


Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or casserole over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, chilli, paprika and oregano and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spices smell fragrant and the onions are soft but not browned. Add the peppers, carrot, corn and celery, and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the walnuts, beans, tomatoes, water and salt, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Now add the chocolate, stir in carefully and cook for another couple of minutes. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve in bowls, garnished with a dollop of yoghurt and chopped coriander with toasted corn tortillas on the side. Store any leftovers in the fridge for 3–5 days.

Recipe taken from Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl Andersen

David Frenkiel, Luise Vindahl and their daughter Elsa are a family who love to travel. Hungry to see and taste more of the world, they had embarked on an ambitious round-the-world trip by the time Elsa was just seven months old. They slept on a friend’s couch in Brooklyn, hunted for a vegetarian restaurant in Beijing, and were mesmerised by the street food in Vietnam. By the time they returned home, Elsa had learnt to walk, and they were keen to keep their adventures alive in their Stockholm kitchen. In Green Kitchen Travels, David and Luise share their favourite recipes and anecdotes inspired by years of travelling, both near and far. Start the day with a fresh Mexican breakfast salad or an indulgent rye and chocolate croissant. Feast on moreish mushroom and tofu dumplings, a comforting vegan sweet potato and aubergine moussaka, and a nutty, crisp no-noodle pad thai. From the wild berry tart to no-flour chocolate cake, the desserts do not disappoint, and are in keeping with David and Luise’s food philosophy: healthy and natural with bold flavours. Featuring over 90 recipes all beautifully styled, and stunning travel photography throughout, as well as personal anecdotes and snapshots from the authors’ holidays, Green Kitchen Travels shares modern and inspiring vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free recipes.

You can buy Green Kitchen Travels at

Published by Hardie Grant Books.

Related articles:
Spicy Spanish Baked Fish
Mexican Baked Potato
Mexican Refried Beans

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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