roger's vegetarian chilli

what's the secret? well in my recipe the intense flavour comes from paprika and red wine - and this seems to be the key to a really rich flavour - anyway, here's the recipe for a mild version.

on a medium heat, heat some olive oil | add a good tablespoon of ground cumin and paprika and fry gently for a couple of minutes | add a chopped medium onion and a clove of garlic - add more olive oil if required as the spices will soak it up | fry gently for 5 - 6 minutes and then add a chopped green chilli (de-seeded) and fry for a further 2 - 3 minutes | add 2 diced celery stalks | 2 - 3 minutes later add a diced green pepper and a diced red pepper (the thin romero ones are nice for a change) | 2 - 3 minutes later, add a diced courgette or two depending on size.

at this point your vegetable mix will probably need some liquid - so add half a (large) glass of a rich red wine - cabernet sauvignon works well and the more full bodied the better.

in a measuring jug, mix a packet of a commercial chilli mix of your choice (well, it makes things easy) with a good gloop of tomato puree and 1/2 a cup of water and 1/2 a cup of beer (black sheep works well) or more red wine | transfer the vegetables from the frying pan into a deep saucepan and add a tin of kidney beans, some chopped tomatoes (tinned are fine as are fresh), a tin of black beans and a cup of green lentils that have been 3/4 cooked earlier | add the jug of gloop and stir in well, you won't need any extra salt as the commercial chilli mix will have enough in it | turn the heat down low and cook for 1/2 hour, stirring to avoid sticking if your saucepan does that sort of thing (as mine does).

turn off the heat and allow to rest for 3 - 4 hours!! even better, allow to cool and put in the fridge until the next day - it really does taste richer the more you give the flavours time to mix. as a BARE MINIMUM, allow 20 - 30 minutes for the chilli to "rest" so that the flavours in the liquid get absorbed by the beans and courgettes.

when you want to serve, warm through, check the seasoning and stir through some plain cashew nuts that you have toasted or gently fried in olive oil - the contrasting texture of the crisp nuts with the chilli is very nice | serve with rice, garlic bread or Nan Bread - they all work well | garnish with some grated parmesan at the table for a treat.

Enjoy :-)

PS. instead of black beans, it also works well with aduki beans but, well, they need much boiling and soaking and in the end, a tin of pre-cooked beans is easier.



OK, I'm sure you're wondering why on earth there is a link for a chilli recipe on the astronomy home page? Well basically it keeps getting rave reviews from people and so I thought I'd put it down in writing so others can try it for themselves!