Cinnamon Chili Stew


I’ve loved mayacoba beans (also called yellow or Peruvian beans). At my local store there was a recipe on the back of the bag, calling for a crock pot, cumin, onions and salt pork. Tried it, liked it, but wanted something more interesting and healthier. Given that this vunderbeans don’t have any sugars (all complex carbs), it’s replaced almost every other bean (except chickpeas). It’s great for Sunday cooking for food for the week. It’s also great for winter parties: it cooks while the party gathers, and it’s hot and ready 90 minutes after the party starts.

It’s just about fat free, except for oil used for frying or what’s in meat (if meat’s used). There’s little salt added — it can be entirely omitted so it’s even healthier. Spicing is to normal human standards; if you’re looking for something with more punch, check out my Power Mayacoba Bean Chili.


  • 1 lb. dried mayacoba beans
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1/2 lb. any solid green veggie you want: asparagus, broccoli, bell pepper (leafy veggies will not last in the pot).
  • 2 lb. frozen venison or absurdly lean ground meat or poultry / 2 lb. 2″ cubed extra firm tofu
  • Oil for frying
  • 1.5T ground cinnamon
  • 2T cumin
  • 4T chili powder (I use 90k cayenne) or 3T hot dry BBQ rub powder (it has salt in it)
  • 3T Tabasco® sauce / any vinegar-based hot sauce
  • 2t tumeric
  • 1T salt / 1T reduced sodium salt / no salt


  • Make the beans vegan but without the tofu. When you want to eat some, toss cheese / soy cheese into the beans and stir. Yum!


  1. Soak the mayacoba beans for at least a day, changing the water at least twice
  2. Wash the beans a final time, then toss ’em in a VERY large pot (5+ quarts) and add enough water so they’re fully covered. Start it boiling with the lid on.
  3. Chop the onions into ~2″ lengths
  4. Chop the veggies (we all need our greens) and sautè them as well, just until they’re all warmed up and glistening
  5. For meat: Take the frozen venison roll and slice it into thick patties (1-2″ thick). No need to defrost or brown. If it’s already thawed, skip this step.
  6. For tofu: chop the tofu, then fry in oil at high heat (to give it a bit of a skin)
  7. Once the beans are boiling, add all the spices. Put lid back on.
  8. Wait 10 minutes.
  9. Add the meat/tofu and veggies.
  10. Let it come back up to a full, roiling boil, then reduce it to a simmer and take off the lid.
  11. If you used frozen meat, start breaking up the frozen discs starting 10 minutes after it comes back to a simmer.
  12. Stir every 10 minutes or so.
  13. If it’s too watery, up the heat a bit.
  14. If, at the end of 90 minutes from first bean boil (#7) it’s still too watery, either pour through colander, or add arrowroot or cornflour to thicken into stew.


This feeds a large number of people (makes 10-16 bowls of chili/stew), depending on what you put into it.


Prep time: 10 minutes.    Elapsed time: 90 minutes (not including soaking beans)