Yes I did say chocolate. Don't you add chocolate to your chilli? I'm sure some of you do. It gives the chilli a wonderful depth of flavour with less of a tomato taste.
I would love to claim this is a traditional Mexican dish, but it's not. Mexicans do add chocolate to dishes, but chilli con carne (or chilli non carne) came from the American Southwest not Mexico, so it is more of a Tex-Mex dish with a Mexican flourish.
I add bitter dark chocolate cocoa, but you can add cacao powder or even a few squares of dark chocolate.
My spices are simple, I add cumin, chilli powder and black pepper. I like to keep it simple. If I have some fresh coriander I will add it towards the end, but I don't worry if I don't have any to add.
I do wonder if the original recipe may have been from a really old Linda McCartney book as that was my first cookbook. It got lost somewhere along the way. It was a little paperback with none of the beautiful glossy lifestyle shots we expect in our coffee table cookbooks. Wherever the original came from I have tweaked it over the years and it is absolutely delicious.
I make a big pot of chilli and it lasts us a few days. We like it on wraps with salad leaves; sour cream (dairy free plain yogurt); and grated cheddar (dairy free cheddar) or with rice or on a baked potato. I shan't tell you that Graham likes it with mashed potato as that is best kept in the family.
The other thing I bulk my chilli out with is frozen vegetarian mince (soya). Not everyone likes soya, so it's up to you if you add it. I've been eating and cooking with it since I turned vegetarian, so I'm used to adding it to chilli and bolognaise. It's actually a healthy ingredient in a vegetarian or vegan diet. It's high in protein and fibre, but low in sugar, salt and fat.
I'll let you decide if you want to add it or not. If you don't add it, then you'll need less stock. so just add a little to begin and add more if you need it.
3 Bean Chocolate Chilli
A Tex-Mex vegan chilli with a rich deep flavour from the mix of spices and chocolate used. Serve it on wraps with salad leaves, on a baked potato or with rice. This chilli freezes well.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 250g mushrooms, sliced or chopped
- 400g frozen veggie mince
- 500ml vegetable stock (3 cubes)
- 400g tin kidney beans, well rinsed
- 400g tin cannellini beans, well rinsed
- 400g tin green lentils, well rinsed
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 tube tomato puree (usually between 150g - 180g)
- 1 glass red wine (about 150ml)
- 4 tbsp cocoa (or cacao) powder
- 3 tbsp cumin
- 1-2 tsp mild chilli powder, more if you want it hot
- a good grinding salt and pepper
1. In a large pot saute the onion in the olive oil until soft, then add the mushrooms and gently cook for a few more minutes.2. Add the soya mince and stir in well, then add the stock.3. Next add the tomatoes, tomato puree, spices, wine and cocoa, then stir well.4. Bring to the boil then simmer and cook gently for 30 minutes. Season, then serve.Notes: This chilli can be kept in the fridge for a few days and freezes well too. It tastes even better on day two.
Yield: Serves 6-8
Chilli is the perfect dish for students starting or returning to college or university this autumn. It's easy to make in one pot and can be either shared or the extra portions can be popped in the fridge or freezer for another night. It's a cheap dish to make too if you use own brand labels.
For more student tips, check out my posts on the Matalan website 5 Awesomely Easy Veggie Recipes and Cooking on a Budget.
If you like chilli you should also try my Mexican Sweet Potato & Puy Lentil Mole.