I’ve never been vegetarian, but every now and then I like to eat veggie meals. It’s a guilt-free way of indulging in comfort food like shepherd’s pie, spaghetti bolognaise or a good old chili con carne and a great way of packing in lots of vegetables.
Veggie alternatives don’t need to be boring though. This veggie chili is full of flavour and you barely notice that there’s no meat.
It uses three different types of chili so it packs a bit of a punch but without making your eyes water. I’ve used a Mexican Cascabel chili and chipotle – mild to medium chilies that are often used in Mexican cooking and have a smoky flavor, plus I’ve added in a couple of red Thai chilies for a bit of extra heat. Feel free to adapt the amount and type of chili to your taste and what you have available.
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1-2 red chilies, chopped
- 1-2 dried Mexican Cascabel chilies
- ½ – 1tsp chipotle powder (you can use 1-2 fresh ones if you have them)
- 1tsp cumin powder
- 1tsp coriander powder
- 1tbsp cumin seeds
- 1tsp dried oregano
- 400g tin kidney beans
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 150g mushrooms, chopped
- 15 green beans, chopped
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1.5tbsp sundried tomato paste (or normal tomato paste if you prefer)
- Splash of Worcestershire sauce
- 2tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Serve with brown rice and top with a dollop of sour cream and a scattering of fresh coriander.
First prepare the Cascabel chili. You will need to soak it in a little hot water for about 10 minutes to soften the chili, then remove the stem and puree.
Dry fry the cumin seeds for a couple of minutes, until they start popping and give off a lovely aroma.
Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pan then add the spring onions, garlic and red chili. Fry for a minute on a low heat stirring regularly. Add the cumin, coriander and chipotle and a couple of tablespoons of water and fry for a minute.
Add the green beans, carrots and pepper to the pan and fry for 1-2 minutes, mixing well with the spice mixture, then add the mushrooms. Fry for another 2 minutes until the mushrooms start to look a bit glossy.
Add the chopped tomatoes, sundried tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Cascabel puree and oregano and stir well. Season to taste.
Bring the chili up to a bubble, cover then leave it to simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavours soak in. Add the kidney beans and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally and check the seasoning.
Mix in the cumin seeds and serve.