Power Mayocoba Bean Chili: Vegan and Carnivorous Versions


This is a continuation of my saga with the mayocoba bean. Brilliant little food. No gas, no muss, no fuss. Meaty, lightly flavored. The salt pork version on the original bean bags was nice, but I live in Texas, after all, and we here… we here need to show how tough we are (ever since it became illegal to literally punch cattle). I’ve got lots of vegetarian, vegan and kosher-keeping friends, so I needed something I could do for them that wouldn’t be tough. Born is this dish. I’ve made it in a kitchen next to stables and in urban kitchens around town. Oh, and at home.

The ingredients lists are split both for vegan and for spicy components. Remember, one from each column, not all at once!


The base

  • 1 lb. dried mayacoba beans
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • Canola oil for frying

Mild Spicing


  • 2T cumin
  • 1t tumeric
  • 1-1/2t fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 bulb garlic or jarred dized garlic
  • 3 Chipotle peppers, diced and seeded
  • 1 Serrano pepper, seeded and slivered

Hot Spicing


  • 3T cumin
  • 2t tumeric
  • 2t fresh ground pepper
  • 1 bulb fresh garlic, peeled
  • 7 Serrano peppers, sliced into rounds, with seeds
  • 3 Chipotle peppers, diced, with seeds
  • If you really insist: 5 Habanero peppers, chopped, with seeds. Oh, what the heck, just add Bhut Jolokia peppers to the pot and be done with it!


Vegan or Carnivore?

  1. 1 large purple onion and two large eggplant
  2. 2 lb. venison, bison, boar, yak, or ground meat of your choice



  1. Soak the mayacoba beans for at least a day, changing the water at least twice. You can quick soak the beans by thoroughly rinsing them, then putting them in a pot with 2x height of water. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat. Keep tightly covered (why cast iron pots were invented?) for an hour. Drain and rinse again — they’re ready for cooking.
  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. If you’re making the carnivorous version, cut the frozen meat into discs, or the thawed meat into small fist-sized chunks.
  4. If you’re making the vegan version, take the onion, roughly chop it, then saute it to the point of carmelization. Then take the eggplant, wash the skins well, and slice into ~1/2″ thick slices. Cover ’em on both sides with salt and lay them down on paper or cloth towels for at least 20 minutes. After that time, rinse all the salt off, cut each slice into 4-6 pieces, and saute until entirely brown and tender. Set aside.

    The base

  5. 1 lb. dried mayacoba beans
  6. 2 large yellow onions
  7. Canola oil for frying
  8. Chop peppers and onions into 1/2″ to 1″ squares.
  9. Smash the garlic cloves then chop finely. Put them into a skillet with 2T canola oil and saute 2 minutes
  10. Add all the spices (remember to use a gas mask if you’re going full Bhut Jolokia on it!)
  11. Fry it up until the oil is entirely permeated with the spices (then notify hazmat that the dead birds in the area are just collateral chili damage)
  12. Toss all the spices in with the beans. If you’re a going to eat meat, now’s the time to toss it all in.
  13. Vegans, prep your rabbit food now (see above “ingredients”).
  14. Still every three or four minutes.
  15. After 20 minutes at full boil, reduce to a simmer.
  16. Simmer for another 30-40 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes to make sure nothing’s sticking to (or burning on) the bottom.

For vegetarians, add onions and eggplant to the beans in the bowl from which you’ll be eating (not the serving dish).

This is a salt-free recipe (unless you didn’t wash the eggplant well enough). Add your own.

Serves: 6-10 folks



Prep time: 15 minutes net        Elapsed time: 90-100 minutes