Ancho chilli flakes are made from ancho poblano chillies. They’re known for their fruity, smoky flavour and mild heat. Ancho chillies are one of the most popular Mexican varieties – and often form the base flavour of chilli sauces or a basic mole, along with guajillo chillies. Sprinkle the flakes straight into a sauce, stew or salsa. Or mix with salt, pepper, sugar, and dried herbs to make a Mexican spice rub.

The Mexican-style black beans recipe is a comforting and healthy wintry dish – and it looks wonderful presented on the aqua fantasia bowl!

Mexican-style Black Beans
Serves 4

250g dry black beans
1 diced red pepper
1 diced onion
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
500ml vegetable stock
2tsp/4g ancho chilli flakes
1 tsp sugar
½ a lime

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 150ºC. In an oven-proof lidded casserole dish, combine black beans, red pepper, onion, tomatoes, cumin seeds, dried oregano, vegetable stock and ancho chilli flakes.
  2. Cover with a lid and place in the oven to cook for 2 ½ hours, until the beans are soft.
  3. 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, open the oven and check the dish. If there is a lot of liquid, rest the lid back at an angle when you return it to the oven and leave a 1cm gap to allow extra water to evaporate. Alternatively, if the beans look dry, add a little water and place the lid on tightly.
  4. When cooked, remove from the oven and taste for seasoning, adding salt if needed.
  5. Stir in sugar and the juice of ½ a lime. Serve with grated cheese, lime wedges and sour cream.