A bean chili

A good chili recipe is something to hold on to. The version I am sharing is a keeper; it is simple and reliable. It has been tried as a tortilla stuffing and as a standalone dish served with polenta slices.  Chili2Chili1

For a 4-6 generous portions you will need:

1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet pepper cut in 2 cm pieces
5oo g tomato concasse sauce + 100 ml water
400 g cooked beans
1 fresh chili, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp each of dry cumin, coriander and sweet paprika
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
some fresh coriander and lime


  • Heat up the oil in a large pot or a deep pan and add the onion and garlic.
  • When the onion has started to soften, add the chili, the sweet pepper and the bay leaf. Stir-fry for another 2-3 min.
  • Lower the heat and add the tomato sauce and the water.
  • Mix in the spices, the salt, the sugar and cover with a lid.
  • Let the chili simmer for about 10 to 15 min.
  • Add the cooked beans and turn off the stove.
  • Top with fresh coriander sprigs and combine with the requisite amounts of  guacamole, and/or sour cream, or yoghurt.

For the polenta you will need:

– 100 ml of corn semolina – polenta
– 400 ml water
– salt & oil


  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Add the salt and the oil.
  • Slowly whisk in the polenta.
  • Continue cooking the polenta on low heat for a couple of minutes, while stirring continuously.
  • Turn off the stove, cover with the lid and let the polenta swell for about 15 min; if necessary, add some more water.
  • Remove from the heat, place in a small greased tray and set aside to cool.
  • Once the polenta has cooled and solidified it can be cut into pieces.
  • Before serving, you can slightly pan-fry the polenta slices, or grill them in the oven – but  just enough to give them a nice crust, while keeping the inside soft and tender.

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