Habichuelas con dulce is one of the most cherished traditions among Dominicans. It is prepared in large quantities during Lent, and shared with relatives and neighbors.
One of the good things about habichuelas con dulce is that no two homes prepare it exactly the same way; it’s also a very forgiving dish that even the beginner cook can make well, and hey! any error can be explained as just your style.
I have no idea how this dish came about: it’s a pretty strange combination of ingredients (that never stopped us Dominicans, we’re fearless that way). Unlike most our dishes, there isn’t even a close equivalent in other countries that we’ve found. It seems to be an acquired taste, but we Dominicans love it and never seem to have enough of it.
Receta de habichuelas con dulce en español.
Habichuelas con dulce, or sweet cream of beans, are definitely one of my favorite Dominican foods. They are traditionally made and eaten during Lent in the Dominican Republic.
- 4 cups of red kidney beans boiled soft
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cups of water from boiling the beans
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 cups of coconut milk
- 3 cups of evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 lb of sweet potatoes (batata) cut into small cubes
- 10 cloves
- Cassava bread (may be omitted)
- 1 cup of milk cookies (may be omitted)
- 2 teaspoons of butter
- Soak the beans in water overnight. Change the water and boil until soft in abundant water.
- Put the beans (and the water in which they boiled) in a blender a puree.
- Strain the beans to get rid of the skins and undissolved solids.
- Pour the beans, coconut milk and half the milk into a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Add the rest of the milk, sugar, raisins, cinnamon, cloves and sweet potatoes and boil for 10 minutes. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
- Boil until it has reduced to about 3/4 of the original volume - the cream of beans will get much thicker when chilled).
- Spread butter on the cassava bread, sprinkle with salt and put in the oven until it turns golden brown.
- Serve the beans chilled with the cassava on the side. Put cookies in the beans when you serve.
These are some ideas for modifying habichuelas con dulce to adapt them to different diets.
You can use soy milk if you are lactose intolerant, and skim milk if you are counting calories.
You can use your sweetener of choice in lieu of sugar. Just cook everything without the sugar and add the sweetener as the last step.
My mom, a diabetic, makes hers with Splenda and they taste just fine. If like many people you get heartburn from eating sweet potatoes, don't sweat it, just skip it.
If you don't have the milk cookies used in this recipe (see photo) you can use mini Graham crackers or crumbled Maria cookies.