The beans in this recipe are spiced with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, and cayenne and get an extra hit of flavor from a trickle of maple syrup and lime juice. They simmer away with some soft and sweet slowly cooked red onion and garlic, cooking down to create a hearty and comforting filling for your tacos. The salsa is sweet from persimmon, tangy with lime, and fresh thanks to a big hit of chopped coriander and spring onion. The lime crema brings it all together. Served with an extra squeeze of lime and a handful of coriander and perhaps a cold Mexican beer and you are good to go!

Black Bean Tacos With Persimmon Salsa and Lime Crema [Vegan, Grain-Free]





For the Beans:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle or food processor
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle or food processor
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Small pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and more to taste
  • A good few cracks of fresh black pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon

For the Salsa:

  • 4 medium Fuyu persimmons or another non-astringent variety of persimmonpeeled, ends and core removed, and flesh cut into medium-diced pieces
  • Small bunch of cilantro, leaves picked (about 1/2 cup packed), and finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, ends trimmed, white and green parts finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Crack or 2 of black pepper

For the Lime Crema:

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked overnight in cold water or for 2–3 hours in just-boiled water
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Few cracks black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

To Serve:

  • 8 corn tortillas, gluten-free if needed
  • 1 avocado, seed removed, flesh cut into slices
  • A handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • Quartered limes
  • Hot sauce, optional


To Make the Beans:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide shallow pan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic, cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and slightly sticky, about 10 minutes (it should not brown – reduce the heat if it starts to brown).
  2. Add the crushed coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the rinsed beans and stir to coat. Pour in the water, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up any flavorful bits of onion and spice that are stuck to the bottom. Add the maple, lime juice, 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, and pepper. Give it a good stir and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  4. Allow to simmer away, stirring often, until all of the liquid has reduced, about 15–20 minutes. Remove from the heat and give the beans a little mash with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Keep warm until you are ready to serve.

To Make the Salsa:

  1. Add all of the salsa ingredients to a bowl and stir everything together well with a spoon. Allow to sit for 10–15 minutes before serving to let the flavors mingle.

To Make the Lime Crema:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender, preferably a high-speed blender, and blend on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lime juice if you feel it needs it. Scrape the crema into a bowl and allow to chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

To Serve:

  1. Heat a frying pan over high heat and warm your tortillas, one at a time, for about 30 seconds —1 minute on either side. Keep them warm in a stack on a plate covered with a tea towel (and in a warm oven if you are not serving straight away). 
  2. Place everything on the table for people to serve themselves: top a tortilla with a scoop of spiced black beans, a spoonful of persimmon salsa, a couple of avocado slices, a drizzle of crema, a little handful of fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and a splash of hot sauce if you are having it.