Beans or feijão are a large part of the Brazilian diet, and pinto beans or carioca are one of the firm favourites. The most popular lunch in Brazil includes a serving of white rice along with cooked beans - so much so that the phrase arroz com feijão the "rice and beans" is a colloquial term used to mean the "basics".
To cook the pinto beans
Place 500g of beans in a pressure cooker with 2l of cold water. Cook over a high heat until the pan reaches pressure, and then simmer for 25 minutes, or 35 minutes for softer beans. In a separate pan fry a sliced onion along with a clove of garlic and chopped carrot. Add to the cooked beans along with some salt to taste. Simer for a further 10 mintues over high heat with the pan uncovered to thicken the broth. If you don't have a pressure cooker, roughly triple the cooking time.
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