Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Making Black Bean Chilli

Now, I don't particularly want this blog to become a recipe one but I have to admit they are pretty easy postings to do, so I may well put up more this coming year when I don't have anything else of more interest to say.

So, a few weeks back, the ever delightful Ms Katyboo mentioned about how she was going to make Black Bean Chilli using a recipe she'd found in a book by someone I'd never heard of (someone called Bill Granger, apparently) and the other day she'd made it and it was horrid.  I mentioned when she was first writing about it that I'd got a good Black Bean Chilli recipe that we both liked, even though TLH said it smelled like boiling socks while it was cooking!  It's quite unusual in that it utilises cider vinegar, sugar and cumin, and it think it's the smell of the hot vinegar that makes him think of laundry but, trust me, it tastes yummy.

Anyway, the extremely simple original recipe comes from the BBC's Good Food Guide website which is a fabulous resource.  You can search for recipes using all manner of criteria and one of its best features is that people can give the recipes a star-rating once they've tried it and also note any alterations/improvements they make to the recipe.  This particular recipe has the full five-star rating from 18 people currently.  You can also post up your own recipe.

This, then, is my slightly altered version (additional red kidney beans, less chilli powder, less sugar), together with photographs.  This will feed 4 generously:


Ingredients (not the oranges, ignore them):

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or a coupla teaspoons of garlic paste)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sweet pimenton (Spanish paprika) or mild chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 x 400g (2 x 14oz) cans/cartons chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g (1 x 14oz) can/carton black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 x 400g (1 x 14oz) can/carton red kitney beans, rinsed and drained
  • a few, or one, of the following to serve: crumbled feta cheese, chopped spring onions, sliced radishes, avocado chunks, soured cream
Get a big pan, heat the olive oil, add the chopped onion and garlic and cook for about 5 mins, until the onions are soft.  I didn't use much garlic paste in the picture below as TLH was meeting clients the next day and didn't want to be all garlicky over them:

Add the paprika/mild chilli powder and the ground cumin, stir in and cook for a few mins:

Then add the cider vinegar, sugar, tomatoes and a bit of seasoning (if you're going to use feta as a topping, don't add too much salt now).  Cook for about 10 mins:

Open your tins/cartons of whichever beans you're going to use, bung in a sieve or colander to drain and then rinse under the tap.  I use one carton of black beans and one carton of red kidney beans.  Add these to the pan.

 This is also a good time to add anything else vegetabular that you might fancy in order to bulk it out or to try and get more veggies down the kids' necks.  Such things like sliced mushrooms, sliced black olives, sweetcorn, red peppers, that sort of thing.  I actually got mushrooms to put in this particular one but forgot them!  So, add the beans and anything else, and cook again for about 10 mins or so.  Taste it to adjust the seasoning - you may need to add more salt or sugar:

Cook up some rice, if you're going to use it.  Or you could spoon the chilli into hard taco shells or soft tortilla wraps.  We do the rice thing in our house.

The toppings suggested in the original recipe are all good although we've only gone for feta cheese and spring onion, but I can imagine the rest - sliced radish, avocado chunks, soured cream - would all be groovy:

You could try having one lot of toppings on one day and if you make enough to last until the next day, having different toppings next time.

And there you have it - cheap as chips, easy as anything, vegetarian, low fat (apart from the feta), nutritionally balanced and yummy!


Anonymous said...

I am going to make it. I love feta cheese with chilli. mmm

Mrs Jones said...

MsBoo - do give it a go. And, yes, that really is 3 tablespoons of cumin. If you get the little cardboard box refills of Schwartz herbs and spices that have 2 clear plastic packets inside them? It's one entire clear plastic packet, which sounds a lot but it works.

bitethebedbugs said...

It's never occurred to me to put feta on chili and I'm not sure why because it looks pretty freaking awesome. Next batch!

Mrs Jones said...

Ms Bedbugs - yeah, I thought it was weird until I tasted it. Om nom nom.