Thursday, 30 August 2012

Mixed Bean & Chickpea Chilli


This is basically just a meat free chilli con carne (or chilli sin carne I suppose), which to the usual mixed beans I’ve also added chickpeas. In reality of course you can use whatever beans take your fancy, mixed as I have, or a mixture of your choosing of black beans, haricot, kidney, pinto and so on. Feel free to use dried beans, soaking and cooking as necessary before adding to the sauce. You will probably be rewarded in taste and texture for your efforts. Or for a speedier solution, and as I have here, just use tins.

Similarly, do adjust the heat levels to taste: obviously you can use what chillis in whatever quantities you like. Here, as well as a fresh, red, bog-standard medium chilli I have also used a dry ancho chilli which is quite mild, with a smoky tobacco & dried fruit flavour. Chipotle chilli powder on the other hand while also smoky (a chipotle is a smoked jalapeno pepper) is much fierier & hotter.

Oh, and I should point out that while meat-free this is not of course vegetarian, seeing as I use meat stock. Naturally use veg stock instead if necessary.

Mixed Bean & Chickpea Chilli
Serves 2-4, depending on accompaniments and appetite

2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp chipotle chilli powder
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped (2 normal, 2 smoked, or just normal if that is all you have)
½ dried ancho chilli, rehydrated & finely sliced
1 tsp mexican oregano
sml glass red wine
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
300ml beef stock
½ tsp sugar
bay leaf
salt and pepper
400g tin mixed beans
200g tin chickpeas
2 handfuls mushrooms, sliced
½ tsp cocoa powder

Toast the cumin & coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat & when they are starting to brown & pop and smell toasty and fragrant remove to a pestle & mortar. Allow to cool slightly then crush: put in a small bowl & mix with chilli powder, cinnamon and paprika.

Soften the onions in the oil over a low heat for 15-20 mins with a little salt, add the garlic and chopped chillies and let cook together for a 5 minutes more.

Into this add the powdered spices and oregano and cook for a further couple of minutes. Deglaze with some red wine and reduce down to cook out the alcohol.

Next, add the tomatoes, squashing them down with the back of a wooden spoon, then add the tomato puree, stock, a pinch of sugar & bay leaf. Season.

Leave to bubble together for 5-10 minutes before adding the beans & chickpeas. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and gently simmer for an hour and a half, adding the mushrooms for the last 20-30 mins of cooking.

Add the cocoa powder and cook for five more minutes.

Adjust the seasoning & serve with rice or flat tortillas and whatever accompaniments you like - grated cheese, coriander, sour cream, and chopped spring onions are my favourites.

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