Growing up in India, we had this unfortunate notion that most western food is 1). Bland and/or 2). Requires almost no prep work. I am being delightfully enlightened over the past couple of years, to say the least.
One wonderful dish I discovered in Texas is chili con carne or chili with meat. Traditionally made with onions, tomatoes, red kidney beans and minced/ground beef, this is the ultimate comfort food. It is thicker than a soup, hearty as a stew, wonderfully flavorful, yet delightfully easy to make.
I usually make chili with chicken, but this time I decided to go all vegetarian with garbanzo beans or chick peas (Kabuli channa, as it is known in India). I’ve never thought to blog about it, but the weather this time of year inspired me to share this recipe with you.
You will need:
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Onion – 1, chopped
- Ginger – 1/2″ piece, chopped
- Tomatoes – 2 large, chopped
- Green bell pepper – 1, chopped
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
- Oregano – 1/4 tsp, fresh or dried
- Boiled chickpeas or garbanzo beans – 2 cups (or use the canned version)
- Tomato ketchup – 1 tbsp
- Salt and pepper – to taste
- Shredded cheese and sour cream – to garnish, optional
- Heat oil in a large pot. Add the onions and ginger and saute till onions turn translucent.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and green pepper and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add the red chili and cumin powders and mix well. Add 2 cups of water, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked beans, oregano and salt. Simmer uncovered till the chili is reduced to desired consistency. Mash a few of the beans with the back of a spoon. This helps to naturally thicken the chili and adds texture.
- Don’t forget to add a dash of ketchup for added kick. You could also try a couple of tablespoons of your favorite barbeque sauce to add more flavor to the chili. This works exceptionally well with beef or chicken chili.
- Taste the chili and add some black pepper powder, if you feel it needs more heat. Skip this if you are serving the chili to little ones.
- Serve warm as is, or garnish with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top.
- You can add cooked red kidney beans and/or black beans to the above vegetarian chili recipe. I just used what I had on hand. Now that I think about it, winter is a good time to stock up on canned beans for such quick meals.
- Another lovely variation is to use chicken to make chili. Cut chicken into 1″ chunks, brown them on all sides in a little oil and add to the pot after you cook the tomatoes and peppers. Red kidney beans would work well in this recipe, rather than garbanzo beans.
- For a subtle smoky flavor, you can try roasting the peppers first. There is a restaurant here that serves chili with roasted halves of jalapeno peppers in it.
Chili can be made extra thick, almost like a curry, and enjoyed with Indian flat breads like rotis or kulchas.
If you are really short on time, you can add a slurry of flour mixed with water to thicken the chili, though I would strongly advise to just take time and let the chili simmer and mash some of the beans to naturally thicken it.
This is such an easy one pot meal and so comforting in this cold weather.
Tell me, what’s cooking at your home this winter?
You may also like to try this Comforting Butternut Squash Soup.
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
- Skip To My Lou
- The Dedicated House
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- Better With Age
- Home Stories A To Z
- My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
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- Cedar Hill Ranch
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- Elizabeth & Co
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- The NY Melrose Family
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- By Stephanie Lynn