Recipe: Caraotas Negras (Venezuelan Black Beans)

30 Nov

Venezuelan Black Beans are nothing like your typical Mexican Black Beans.   For starters, they are not spicy at all.   We usually serve them as a side, but we also eat them in soups, as a filling for our famous Arepas, refried, mixed in with white rice, with Queso Blanco on top, and even with sugar on top.   However, they are always present in the traditional Venezuelan Dish, Pabellón Criollo.



What you need:

– 5 Cups of Water
– 1 Cup of Black Beans (washed and strained)
– ½ Red Bell Pepper
– ½ Teaspoon Salt
– 1 Teaspoon of Oil
– ½ Onion
– 1 ½ “Ajíes Dulces” (Sweet Habanero or Yellow Lantern Chilli)
– ½ Garlic Head
– ½ Tablespoon Cumin


1. Make sure to pick out “bad” Black Beans and little rocks or other impurities from your cup of Black Beans and wash them as well.

Black Beans

Black Beans

Pick Out "Bad" Beans

Pick Out "Bad" Beans

2. In a large enough pot, add the cup of Black Beans and add the water to them.
3. Let them soak for a maximum of 12 hours and a minimum of 5 hours. (I highlight this step so you remember you have to do this the night before.

Soak Overnight

Soak Overnight

4. In the same pot that they have been soaking (if you soaked in a pot, not a bowl like I did), add the bell pepper and cook at a medium heat, covered, for about an hour and a half or until they become soften. Add the salt.

Add Bell Peppers

Add Bell Peppers



5. In a different pan make the “sofrito” by frying the onion, the ajíes and the garlic with the oil until they turn brown (about 5 minutes).
6. Add the cumin, stir, and remove from the heat.
7. Add the “sofrito” to the pot where the Black Beans are cooking and reduce the heat.   Let this cook for another 10 minutes, or until the liquid has almost completely evaporated (depending if you will be serving them as a side or as a soup).   However, it is recommended to leave a bit of the liquid so they taste better.

Caraotas Negras (Venezuelan Black Beans)

Caraotas Negras (Venezuelan Black Beans)


– If you wish to refry your leftover black beans, simply sauté them with one or two tablespoons of oil until they become dry and shinny.   Top with Queso Blanco.

*Makes 4 servings.

¡Buen Provecho!

6 Responses to “Recipe: Caraotas Negras (Venezuelan Black Beans)”

  1. Mary at 14:50 #

    So, I’m assuming to chop/dice all the veggies?

  2. frieda at 05:58 #

    Am working for venezuela embasy as chef. And this dish is fun and easy to make

    • mwolowicz at 19:09 #


      Thank you for visiting the blog and thank you for your comment. In what Venezuelan Embassy do you work? Are there any other Venezuelan recipes you enjoy making?



  1. Recipe: Pabellón Criollo « Venezuelan Cooking -

    […] Carne Mechada (Venezuelan Shredded/Pulled Beef) – Caraotas Negras (Venezuelan Black Beans) – Arroz Blanco (Venezuelan White Rice) – Tajadas (Venezuelan Fried […]

  2. Foodie Friday: “Food is Memory” | The Extra Pounds -

    […] a feeling I can’t quite describe that comes from eating arepa, frying plantains, cooking black beans, or making chicken salad. Cooking with ingredients and spices from home remind me of my […]

  3. Venezuelan-Style Black Beans | Sarah's Cucina Bella -

    […] at recipes on The Spruce Eats, Cooking Light, Goya and a blog called Venezuelan Cooking, I got a feel for the flavors and ingredients. Sometimes this is made with bacon, sometimes not. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: