This traditional Afro-Peruvian dessert was first prepared over 400 years ago, and though it’s similar to a pudding, the combination of black beans with milk, sugar, and spices, make this dish uniquely Peruvian. Inspired by the origins of this dessert, I enjoyed using tools such as a mortar and pestle or a strainer — and I learned that simple ingredients and the right touch can produce the most delicious of tastes.
To make the frejol colado, I started with a recipe by Teresa Izquierdo from the Larousse de los Postres Peruanos. But I also asked my mom for advice on how to get the right consistency. In the recipe here, the measurements are my own. Since I frequently cook savory beans as a side dish or for Tacu Tacu, it was a nice change of pace to use beans for a dessert, after all, one must always have dessert.
The consistency of the frejol colado is achieved by removing the skin of the beans to make a purée, and by cooking it to make a thick paste. I used a mortar and pestle to grind the cloves into a fine powder, but used only a small amount since cloves are so flavorful. I also added sugar to taste, enough for a hint of sweetness. In the end, I was scrapping the bottom of the pot with a spatula, smiling, and licking every last drop.
Recently, I had the pleasure of serving this dessert at The Hub in SF and posted a short video about Pisco Trail’s first Pop-up event.
- 2 cans of unsalted black beans (each can weighs 15 oz.)
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 cups milk
In addition to the ingredients above, you’ll need a mortar and pestle, a fine mesh strainer, a fork, two bowls, a skillet, and a pot for cooking the bean purée.
- Toast the sesame seeds on a skillet over low heat, set aside.
- Use a mortar and pestle to grind the cloves, anise seeds, and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, set aside.
- Pour the beans into a bowl and drain excess liquid.
- Place a scoop of the beans in a fine mesh strainer over an empty bowl, and use a fork to mash the beans and make a purée that passes through the strainer into the bowl beneath.
- Discard the skin of the beans that remain in the strainer and repeat step 4 with the rest of the beans.
- Pour the purée into a small pot, add the sugar, and cook over a medium heat until the purée thickens, stir frequently for approximately 20 minutes.
- Add the cloves, anise, and sesame seeds, mix well.
- Add 1/4 cup of milk and stir until purée thickens and begins to boil.
- Repeat step 8 with remaining milk, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring for about 1 hour or until pudding has thickened to desired consistency. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer while stirring.
- Pour pudding into a serving dish, and garnish with remaining toasted sesame.
8 small servings.
Be careful not to let the purée burn when cooking, stir frequently while it reduces to a thick paste. Use a spatula to scrape the paste from the side of the pot when mixing with the milk.
To make this dish vegan friendly, use almond milk instead of milk.