Chilli con quail beans

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 400 g quail beans (pinto beans), soaked overnight in cold water.
  • 4 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 3 chilli peppers coloured
  • 1 fennel cone
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400 g pelati cubes
  • 60 g soy chunks
  • 300 cl bouillon, racy spiced
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped
  • Salt, pepper
  • a little cayenne or Tabasco
  • Cumin


  • 2 tbsp dry sesame seeds, toasted in a pan


  1. Weigh and prepare all ingredients.
  2. Soak the beans the night before. Soy cutlets: Bring 3 dl vegetable stock to the boil, add the soy cutlets and leave to simmer on a low heat, covered. Add the whole mixture as in step 3. Recommendation: only add half of the vegetables to the beans, the other half should be added 10 minutes before the end of cooking. 
  3. Sauté the diced onion and chopped garlic in the olive oil, add half of the vegetables and tomato paste and sauté. Add the soaked, drained quail beans, fill up with the pelatti and the soaked, soy mince. Season with cumin, pepper, cayenne or Tabasco. Add the salt only at the end. 
  4. Gently simmer the quail bean chilli over a low heat for about 1 hour. Add the second half of the vegetables 10 minutes before the end of cooking – continue to simmer and season to taste.
  5. Serve and sprinkle with the chopped chives.


  • Roast the cumin a little in the pan at the beginning. 
  • Soak the beans in salted water 
  • If you are in a hurry: Use tinned quail beans or tinned borlotti beans (but the taste of the quail beans is amazing!) 
  • If it’s even more urgent: Boil beans separately with bicarbonate of soda.

Story behind the recipe

Quail beans are one of the lesser-known bean species in our country. They are a well-known and traditional food, especially in some North and South American countries. The beans owe their German name to their appearance when dried: they are light beige to pink in colour and speckled red-brown. This pattern is reminiscent of the shell of quail eggs. When cooked, they develop a uniform light brown colour. Quail beans are also called pinto beans.

About Markus Biedermann CH

Markus Biedermann is a trained cook, diet chef and certified head chef and has worked in various nursing homes, also as a home manager. He therefore knows the gastronomy and elderly care from many years of experience.

It was not least the experience of loveless food preparation and uninspired use of leftovers that was at the beginning of his new home kitchen. His goal is to take care of the guests, the staff and the environment. He has received several awards in Germany and Switzerland for his innovations and his commitment to Alzheimer’s patients. 

Markus Biedermann offers advice on catering systems and further training, is a multiple book author and created these wonderful bean recipes for the Global Fields bean project in Attiswil (Switzerland).

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