Cool weather calls for piping hot bowls of chili. While I am of the carnivore persuasion, I take my chili, vegetarian-style.
It's a meaty dish of black beans and red kidney beans in an aromatic stew of juicy tomatoes, capsicum (peppers), garlic, onion and coriander spiked with cayenne, oregano, cumin and that magical ingredient: smoked paprika.
Served with grated Monterey Jack cheese and a generous dollop of sour cream, this vegetarian chili has been keeping the Australian winter blues away. Although in Australia, the winter blues mainly refer to the crisp blue skies!
It's a simple dish but infinitely satisfying, healthy (if you don't splurge on cheese and sour cream) and economical.
Now if you're meat-lover and don't think you'd cope with a bowl of beans -- I urge you to think again. The combination of the meaty beans infused with spicy, smoky flavours, juicy tomatoes and capsicums and fresh hit of coriander all make for a fantastic meal. Go on, give it a go!
Smoky vegetarian chili
1 brown onion, chopped
1 tsp cayenne powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 red capsicum & 1 yellow capsicum, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can black beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans
4 medium, ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
3/4 cup of water
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup of chopped coriander (cilantro)
Grated MontereyJack cheese
2 green onions, sliced
Corn chips for dipping
- Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until onions soften for about 5 minutes. Next, add cayenne, oregano, cumin and smoked paprika. Fry, stirring, for 2 minutes to release the aroma of the spices.
- Add the garlic and capsicum and stir well. Fry, stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes or until capsicum starts to soften.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, any juice and salt. Fry for 2 minutes.
- Mix in beans and water. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add coriander and stir well.
- Ladle chili into bowls. Top with a tablespoon of sour cream, a handful of grated cheese and green onions.
- Serve immediately.