Chilli is great. It tastes good, it can be dressed up or down, it works as lunch or dinner, on a weekday or for a party, summer, winter, spring and autumn. The basics are very simple: onion, beans, tomatoes, spices. Then you add whatever you want. It’s a one-pot dish (although you can make it a many-pot dish by serving it with any number of accompaniments like salsa, guacamole, rice or whatever) and makes several portions.
Serves: 4-6. Prep: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 45 minutes.
Stores: In the fridge, 3-4 days. In the freezer, up to 3 months.
- Chopping board
- Tablespoon or tablespoon measure
- Tin opener
- Wooden spoon
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves of garlic (optional)
- 1 small chilli
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika powder (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (optional)
- 1 red pepper
- 3 tins of beans (can be a mix, say one each of red kidney, cannelini, black eyed peas, or use all the same of your own favourite)
- 2 tins of tomatoes
- Juice of one lime (optional)
- Handful of coriander (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the oil.
- Chop the onion and add to the oil.
- Chop or crush the garlic and add to the onion.
- Cook until soft, avoiding browning.
- Lower the heat, add the spices and stir. Heating the spices with the onion and oil helps release their full flavour. Be careful not to burn them.
- Finely chop the pepper and add to the onions.
- Cook for a minute or two, to start softening the pepper.
- Add the tomatoes and a half-tin of water.
- Stir, cover and let cook for half an hour or so.
- Just before serving, add finely chopped coriander and a squeeze of lime (if using).
- Serve as is, or with heated tortillas, salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, grated cheese, sour cream or none of these. It’s good as it is but with a bunch of extras you can turn it into a feast.
- Make it taco Friday: Serve in taco shells, with shredded lettuce, grated cheese and guacamole.
- Wrap in a tortilla, put in an oven-proof dish, sprinkle with grated cheese and cook in a medium oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese bubbles.
- Add a couple of tablespoons to quesadillas.
- When adding the pepper, add a finely chopped courgette, another pepper and a tin of sweetcorn for a veggier chilli.