I’ve been making this chilli for years, and it’s one of our favourite things to eat when it’s a bit cold and grey out (so nine months out of the year in Scotland). You’ll get much better results soaking and cooking dried beans instead of using tinned, but if you’re in a hurry, tinned beans are fine. I’ve included the spice mix I use, but if you can’t be bothered, feel free to use a packet of chilli seasoning mix. I like Old ElPaso if I’m in a rush or don’t have everything to hand.
This recipe feeds four. Six if accompanied by rice.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red chilli pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
300g mushrooms, coarsely chopped (quartered works well if they’re not huge)
30g coriander, stems and leaves separated
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
250g dried pinto beans, cooked according to packet (unless it says to add salt – don’t!)
1 vegetarian stock cube
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder (the temperature is up to you)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon mild smoked paprika
In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and wait until it’s hot. Add the chilli pepper and onion and fry until the onions are translucent – about five minutes. Now add the mushrooms and fry for an additional five minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Roughly chop the coriander stems and add them to the pot along with the tinned tomatoes, beans, stock cube, tomato puree, and spices and simmer for about ten minutes.
Season to taste and then garnish with the coriander leaves before serving.
This is a basic recipe that can be jazzed right up with a few additions or substitutions. You can add red pepper, sweet corn, smoked poblanos – anything you fancy. Feel free to use kidney or black beans in place of the pinto beans. Or use a combination. Just remember not to salt your beans while they cook as this causes them to become tough and harder to digest.
Toppings we like (not all vegan) include fresh guacamole, creme fraiche, grated cheddar, chopped tomatoes, and black olives.
If you’re in the UK and can’t find good Mexican ingredients at your local supermarket, I highly recommend Mexgrocer. They have a great selection of ingredients for Mexican cooking.