Instant Pot Mashed Beans – Kolocheni Fasoli for Sviata Vecheria

Ukrainian Mashed Beans for Sviata Vechera

Beans are a fairly pedestrian thing. This recipe made for Sviata Vecheria, the Ukrainian twelve-dish meatless Christmas Eve meal. As such, it’s made with vegetable oil and is totally vegan. With a cup of Instant Onions, you’ll save even more time on your way to Christmas Eve.

Mashed beans may not look like much but they’re tasty and garlicky.  They’re kind of the Ukrainian version of refried beans.

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I’ve tried to figure out what best to call these – my recipe books call this “Kolocheni Fasoli” and sometimes just “Mashed beans.” Google Translate helped me get to колочені фасолі meaning “chopped beans.”

We’ll start out with a pound of dry navy beans.

A pile of white navy beans

Most conventional recipes tell you to soak them overnight and then cook them for “about 3 hours.” But, not with an Instant Pot.  Strangely, my collection of Ukrainian cookbooks have thousands of recipes but one recipe for these beans actually suggests pressure cooking (but provides no details).

Flavourings! Four cloves of garlic and two bay leaves

You’ll add garlic to the Instant Pot that will cook with the beans.  I’ve used four fairly large cloves for this recipe.  But, if you love garlic, you can use up to ten cloves.

Beans ready to cook with floating garlic and bay leaves with vegetable oil floating on the water

Rinse the beans in a colander and remove any stones or funny looking beans.  Add the rinsed beans to the Instant Pot along with 2 teaspoons of salt, a tablespoon of vegetable oil, two bay leaves and your choice of garlic quantity.  Fill the Instant Pot to the halfway mark with water.

Use the Beans setting for 30 minutes at High Pressure (or manual for 30 minutes).  It’ll take about half an hour to come to pressure, and about an hour to naturally come down.

Cooked beans sitting in the Instant Pot with water

Remove the garlic cloves.  Discard the bay leaves.

Mashing the garlic cloves with a fork

Mash up the garlic with a fork. Drain the beans in a colander. Return half of the drained beans to the Instant Pot.  Mash those beans with a potato masher (but a fork also works).

If you’re cooking the whole deal for Sviata Vechera, reserve a cup of the beans if you’re also making borscht (and you’re putting beans in the borscht).

Combining the cooked onions, mashed garlic and reserved beans with the mashed beans

Combine the mashed beans with chopped onions, mashed garlic, salt and pepper to taste and un-mashed beans to combine with the mashed beans.  It’s nicer to have whole beans in a mushy bean puree.

I’ve kept this in line with the traditional recipe.  But, you could also fold in chopped parsley if you wanted more colour.

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Large colander
  • Potato masher

 Time saved

  • No soaking beans overnight
  • Using a cup of Instant Onions saves over half an hour of time spent simmering onions
  • Instead of cooking beans for 3 hours, the total cooking time (including pressurization and a natural pressure release) is 2 hours


Instant Pot Mashed Beans - Kolocheni Fasoli for Sviata Vechera

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Serves: 8 to 10 servings

A traditional dish for Ukrainian mashed beans - updated and sped up using an Instant Pot.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dry navy beans (450 g)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (usually canola or corn oil but other vegetable oils work)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-10 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of diced onions, cooked in vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt (minimum, more to taste)
  • Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse the navy beans in a colander and add the rinsed beans to the Instant Pot along with 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, garlic cloves and bay leaves.
  2. Fill the Instant Pot with water to cover the beans - to the ⅔ level. Set the Instant Pot to cook for 30 minutes at High Pressure using either the Beans setting or Manual.
  3. If you don't have cooked onions available, simmer finely chopped onions in a pan on low heat in vegetable oil for about half an hour while the beans cook.
  4. Allow the Instant Pot to drop pressure naturally - this will take about an hour.
  5. Remove the bay leaves and discard.
  6. Remove the garlic cloves and mash them with a fork.
  7. Drain the beans in a colander.
  8. Return half the beans to the Instant Pot and mash with a potato masher or fork.
  9. Combine the unmashed beans, cooked onions, mashed garlic, and salt to taste with the mashed beans.
  10. Serve hot.

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