Kidney bean, chili bean, Mexican bean, Raj Mah, Spanish tolasana, habichuela, haricot rouge is a medium-sized bean and usually a glossy red; but it is possible to find brown, black, and white varieties.
At least 7,000 years old, this is an ancient cultivar from southwestern Mexico, where hundreds of varieties were developed.
The white kidney bean (cannellini)
is used more frequently in Europe.
In the West Indies, it is cooked with coconut milk, hot chilis, and herbs.
Contrary to popular belief, the kidney bean is not used for the infamous chili con carne.
It is the pinto bean or the small red bean that has been historically used.
The Spanish tolasana is a large mottled red kidney beans. It is similar to the Mexican ayocotes bean
and is sometimes referred to as the prince bean by growers. It is used in both Spanish and Mexican dishes.
There are many varieties of the small red bean, also known as habichuela.
Many of these are given the common name of red Mexican bean.
It is less than an inch long and not quite kidney-shaped, but with the same dark red colour. The flavour and other characteristics are the same as the kidney bean, however. It does not fall apart easily when cooked, making it a favourite with canners.