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Basic Recipes > Chilli with Beans 4 April 2008

Posted by cath in mildly spicy, Recipes, variations, vegetables, very spicy.
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My recipe for chilli is slightly inspired by Thai cuisine as I used to eat these very hot chilli con carnes out in Thailand. The recipe is quite spicy, with lots of fresh chillies, coriander and lime. Its nickname is “Tom Yum” Chilli because my Thai friend thought that it tasted like the hot and spicy Thai soup. Of course you should adjust the amount of chilli to your tastes.

This recipe below is actually a fantastic vegetarian chilli san carne, or you could try a variation with meat if you prefer.

Add guacamole and salsa, some tortilla wraps or chips to accompany the dish. You can use the basic stew recipe to make a variety of different Mexican inspired dishes…like this toasted chilli wrap.

 

Toasted Tortilla

Toasted Tortilla with Chilli, Sour cream, Salsa and Guacamole

Ingredients

1 tin Aduki beans, rinsed and drained then slightly crushed

1 tin Black-eyed beans, rinsed and drained then slightly crushed

1 tin Kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 small handful of each red split lentils and puy lentils – rinsed (uncooked)

1 large onion – chopped

1 leek – sliced finely

2-3 sticks celery – finely chopped or grated

1/2 golden beetroot – grated (If you want to use purple beetroot, use sparingly as they will bleed purple into everything!)

1 small carrot – grated

6-8 cloves garlic – crushed and finely chopped

1 large handful of coriander (leaf, stalk & roots, if available)

4 large red or green chillies – finely chopped (or to taste, remove the seeds for less heat)

1 large red chilli sliced for garnish

1 Bay leaf

1-2 heaped tsp cumin powder (to taste)

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 pinch smoked paprika

1-2 tsp chilli powder (cayenne pepper)

2 tbsp dried oregano (use fresh instead or as well if you can get it)

salt and pepper

1 large glass red wine (or a small glass of port)

2 tins tomatoes (or use fresh chopped tomatoes)

A selection of vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, spinach – diced/chopped as appropriate

Juice of 1 lime

Method

  1. Heat a large pan, add a few tablespoons of oil (like Oleifera), you may need more as you cook all the vegetables.
  2. Fry the onion on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Just start to soften the onion, not brown it (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the celery, leek and again fry off gently until they begin to soften (about 3 minutes), stirring gently.
  4. Then add the grated carrot and beetroot, fry, stirring gently – add a spoon more oil as required but don’t make it too greasy.
  5. Add the garlic, and taking the stalks and root from the coriander (save the leaf for later), chop finely and add to the pan. Stir again.
  6. [If you are using mince pork or beef, add it here and brown gently, stirring.]
  7. Now add the spices to the pan, the bay leaf and the dried oregano, a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix well and let fry gently for a minute.
  8. Get the crushed aduki and black eye beans, and the lentils and stir them into the pan with the spiced ingredients. Mix everything well.
  9. Add the wine, stir and let the alcohol evaporate.
  10. Add the tomatoes, break up the tinned tomatoes with the spoon. Stir well to combine. Add a large glass of water, and keep some at the side to add as required to loosen the mixture.
  11. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  12. Add the chopped mushrooms and fresh oregano if you have it.
  13. Simmer the dish with the lid partially on for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding extra cold water if required (particularly if you are cooking lentils).
  14. With 10-15 minutes to go before you serve, add the peppers, check the seasoning and add more fresh chilli if required to taste.
  15. Add the drained kidney beans to heat through.
  16. With 5 minutes to go, stir in the spinach to wilt.
  17. Then remove from the heat, finish off with chopped coriander leaf and lime juice.

Serve with rice and sour cream.

Tips and Variations

Chilli is lovely with just mixed beans and vegetables as in the ingredients shown here, but you could also make it with pork or beef mince. Just substitute the meat for some or all of the beans and lentils. Add meat at the frying stage.

You can make chilli in advance as well. Remember that any beans in the dish will have continued absorbing liquid and flavour, which means you will need loosen the sauce with some extra cold water as you reheat it.

You can use any type of bean, or a mixture of different beans and lentils as I’ve used here. To save time, I usually use tins of pre-cooked beans, which will disintegrate more into the dish, but I also add some uncooked lentils to balance the different textures. Simmering the tinned beans gently in the sauce allows them to soak up the flavours. If you have time you could use dried beans and make everything from scratch – that way they will absorb even more flavour.

You can add any root vegetables you like – just grate and sweat them off in the base – they stew and melt into the sauce adding lots of flavour.

Chunks of mushrooms and peppers make a good addition to the dish, although you could use other vegetables – just put them in the sauce at the appropriate time to cook them through.

If you have any, you can also add some chopped fresh tomatoes at for a minute or two at the end of cooking for a fresher flavour (in season). Or try a tin of Mexican green tomatillos.

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