I’ve been trying to think of a better name for this, but I haven’t as yet. Suggestions welcome, and the winning suggestion (by a lady) will get to go on a date with me! Please. I’m so lonely.
Recently I discovered that one of the best things to cook in the world is Chilli. It’s easy and you can leave it cooking for ages while you play Diablo III and forget about it. It’s also filling, good for you, and above all, super tasty.
- 100g Soya mince. I use the dried stuff from Holland and Barrett as it comes in a huge bag, costs less than two squiddlies1 and provides a great texture. There are two kinds - plain, and dark “savoury” mince that’s coloured with caramel. The caramel one looks less weird in a chilli, but there’s no real difference
- A couple of peppers - I prefer red and yellow, sliced thinly
- 1 big red onion, diced
- Mushrooms, chopped. If you don’t like ‘em2, you can leave them out
- 1 tin kidney beans, drained
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
This is the fun part and you’re free to experiment. Here’s what I use, and the measurements are all to taste, but be liberal:
- Generous dose of Cumin. This is what makes chilli smell like chilli - stick it in3 and it will start smelling “right”
- Cayenne pepper
- Dried chilli flakes
- Paprika. I recommend smoked paprika for a tasty smoky flavour
- Garlic powder (or fresh garlic - I don’t use a lot)
- Cinnamon. Don’t argue, cinnamon RULES
- 10 squirts of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or Soy Sauce) - adds a little “savoury” taste
- If you find the sauce too savoury or salty, try a little agave nectar to add some sweetness
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Put the soya mince into a bowl and cover with 300ml of water to rehydrate. Whilst it does its magic, prepare your veg and assemble the spices.
Grab a large pan with a lid, and heat some vegetable oil (you could use olive oil, but I think that’s a waste as you’ll never taste it). Once the oil’s shimmering, throw in the onion and get it sizzling until partially transparent. Next, add the pepper and after a couple of minutes, the mushrooms.
Once those are going properly, add the kidney beans and tomatoes and stir it all up. Then jump on board the fast train to Spice City! That’s a very stupid way of saying now add the spices, stirring thoroughly.
Then pop on the lid and sit back. I find that it tastes best if it’s simmered for at least an hour and a half, stirring once every twenty to thirty minutes or so. A good non-stick pan helps here, and if your chilli gets too dry, add a dash of water. With a chilli it’s important to taste regularly and adjust the flavour as you see fit but remember that you can always add more but you can’t take out what you’ve put in.
When you can’t take the hunger pains any more, serve over rice, or my favourite: wrapped in wholemeal tortillas.
Serves three, or two BIG portions. I find it tastes even better after it’s been in the fridge for a day. I dub these the chilli remnants or “chemnants”. Maybe “cheftovers”.
Stop judging me.