Wednesday, December 6, 2006


Here is my recipe for Chilli - no great surprises here, but we love it. Obviously you will adjust the seasonings and garlic to taste. Some may prefer to skip the oil and 'saute' in a little stock.


1 Tbsp or less olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup or more chopped mushrooms
1 cup reconstituted tvp OR crumbled firm tofu
3 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp ground cummin
1 or 2 tsp cayenne or more to taste
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika (for taste and colour)
(for the previous four seasonings you can use commercial Mexican Chilli Seasoning, but it's not the way we make it or like it.)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 large can tomatoes, chopped, with juice
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
1 large green bell pepper (capsicum), cut in chunks
1 large red bell pepper (capsicum), cut in chunks
1 medium carrot, finely grated
2 cups cooked black turtle beans
1 Tbsp Marmite or Vegemite (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Also, about 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) and a couple of coarsely chopped tomatoes to be added 10 minutes before serving.

In a large pot put the oil and onions, sautÈ until soft and starting to brown, add the garlic, the TVP or tofu, and the mushrooms and stir until they all brown together a little. Add the tomato paste and stir around to coat the mixture then add the spices, stirring well again, then the tomatoes and the rest of the vegetables and the beans. Bring to a boil and stir in the Marmite. Cook for something like 45 minutes over low heat. You may need to add a little water, tomato juice or stock from time to time to keep to your wished-for consistency.

If you want to eat the chilli now, add the fresh tomatoes and the fresh cilantro, stir and cook for another ten minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve with rice or brown bread and whatever garnishes you like with your chilli - avocado slices, vegan sour creme, chopped green onions, chopped fresh chillies, grated vegan cheeze, corn chips, etc.

If you want to eat this later, cool and refrigerate (it's always better for sitting for a few hours). When you are ready to eat, bring it to the boil, add the tomatoes and cilantro and turn the heat down to simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve as above.

Sometimes we add a small can of sweet corn niblets and sometimes some finely chopped zucchini (courgettes), but this is the basic recipe and one I prefer for its clean taste and bright colour.

I find this freezes fairly well, despite the fact that the bell peppers/capsicum tend to go softish. (You can always add a little fresh chopped bell pepper/ capsicum after defrosting along with, yes again, some fresh chopped tomato and simmer for a few minutes. Doing this snaps up the flavour and texture.)

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