Curried refried beans

I only discovered refried beans way back in 2017, thanks to Ree Drummond.

You can’t exactly go to the local Spar or supermarket down the road from you and pick up a few tins. You have to go to a specialty store to get your hands on these. I landed up buying a bulk pack online from a store a Mexican store in Jozi.

Be warned, these beans are not for the faint of heart. Your first look that you get once you open the tin, will put you off it, it looks like dog food, I am sorry but there is just no other way of describing its appearance, there is no smell but the look and of course it doesn’t just plop out the tin, you have to use a spoon and scoop it out.

But it is all worth it in the end.

There was left over roti from Sunday’s lunch and seeing as my dad and I were having friend chicken for lunch, my mother was lucky enough to lay claim to the left over rotis.

I needed to make a juicy curry to go with the roti otherwise it is just pointless. The plan was to make baked beans curry and chips, so that I could pack the left overs for my dad’s lunch tomorrow, again I repeat that was the plan.

Just before lunch, I sent my dad a message telling him that I only have 1 potatoe left, on his way home to buy a pocket of potatoes and onions for me, my dad replied sharp and he arrived just before lunch with guess what…a pocket of onions and a box of bananas… huh…. Bananas of all things. When I asked must I go fetch the potatoes from the car, he was like what potatoes, I never mentioned anything about potatoes.

Upon rereading his messages this time with his glasses on he saw he didn’t read the first part and he thought it was funny. I did not find the joke in this, because I tell my father time and time again and I repeat myself soo many times and he still forgets half the things I tell him. He lives on his phone, you would think he would actually read my messages but no, now I am going to give myself arthritis from writing long detailed messages when he is only going to read the last sentence.

He must make me made, I will break that phone in half and stomp all over it and then take a hammer to it and then add it to a cake and force feed it to him and watch and enjoy as it painfully comes out the other end…I know, I am evil but I mean, how can you confuse bananas and potatoes they don’t even sound the same, they aren’t even spelt the same way!!!

So my mother’s lunch had to be changed and it had to be something quick that I could add a potato too and the food wouldn’t be a little, like it was a last minute thought lunch, well it kind of was.

Then I saw the elbow high pile of refried beans and thought, ag why not, not like lunch can go any worst.

There was no particular recipe for this dish, I literally just threw anything and everything into the pot and prayed it came out perfect. Yes, I got burned a million times thanks to all the bursting of the bubbles on my arms, I also discovered I haven’t forgotten my French.

I did punish my dad my drowning his chicken in the beans and well he wasn’t happy at all, serves him right for not listening to me.

My mother, she loved it, she couldn’t stop telling me how much she loved it between each mouthful and then when she was finished, she looked at me and said and do you know why I liked it? Because for once there wasn’t a million seeds and sticks I had to discard in every bite, it was just plain and simple spices… just for that, I am going to this beans stretch all week, so hurtful and I try soo hard… Just wait, a time will come when they will miss all my seeds and spices food, a time when they are going to get tired of bland food.


  • 1 x onion, finely chopped.
  • 3 x tbsp. olive oil.
  • A few curry leaves.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 1 x tin crushed tomatoes, liquidized.
  • 1 x tbsp. chilli powder.
  • ¼ x tsp turmeric powder.
  • 1 x potatoe, peeled and cubed.
  • 1 x tin refried beans.
  • Fresh coriander to garnish.


  • Heat oil in a pot.
  • Add the onions, curry leaves and salt.
  • Saute till the onions are soft.
  • Add in the tomatoes, cover and cook till it has released all its water.
  • Mix in the spices and allow to cook for a few minutes.
  • Toss in the potatoes and add enough water to cover the potatoes.
  • Cover and cook till the potatoes are almost soft.
  • Add in the beans, liquid and all.
  • Give everything a good stir.
  • Cover and cook till the potatoes are soft and the sauce has thickened.
  • Garnish with coriander before serving.

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