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Black Bean Cakes with Mango-Lime Crema Recipe


Black bean cakes

These falafel-like cakes are very versatile. They can be pan-fried or baked, depending on the texture you prefer. If you don’t want to take the time to make the crema, you can easily serve these with a dollop of plain ol' sour cream.


For the crema:

  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ mango, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the cakes:

  • Two 15-ounce cans black beans
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil, for cooking


For the crema:

Combine a third of the mango, and all remaining ingredients in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the rest of the mango.

For the cakes:

In a food processor, blend the garlic, 1 can of beans, lime juice, and sour cream until moderately smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in the remaining ingredients. Mix until properly combined.

With clean hands, form the bean mixture into 1-inch balls and set aside on a plate. Chill the balls for twenty minutes or so.*

Heat a skillet over a medium-high flame, adding a healthy layer of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the bean cakes have cooled, remove from the refrigerator. Pan-fry the bean cakes, making sure to press each down into a round patty as you add them to the pan. Cook until dark brown and crispy on both sides. Reserve on a paper towel until cool enough to handle.

Alternatively, you can bake the cakes on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until they have crisped up (the outside will resemble falafel).

Arrange cakes on a platter, and serve room temperature with a dollop of mango-lime crema on top and some torn cilantro leaves for garnish.