This FiveGeeks recipe was originally based on a recipe from textfiles.com, adapted for UK ingredients and simplified a bit. I've discovered that it's also very good — maybe even better — when made with red kidney beans rather than black beans.
Suitable for vegetarians. Makes about ten portions, and freezes well.
- 500g dried black beans
ordried red kidney beans, soaked overnight in water
- 100ml (or so) olive oil
- 2tbsp cumin seed
- 2tbsp dried oregano
- 2 large onions
- 6 small green chilli peppers (jalapeno or similar)
- 2 green peppers
- 2 red peppers
- 5 cloves garlic
- 3tbsp paprika
- 1tbsp crushed chilli flakes
- 1tsp salt
- 800g (2 cans) chopped tomatoes
- 200g (1 tube) tomato puree
- cheddar cheese, creme fraīche and tortillas, to serve
You'll need two large casserole pans and a wooden spoon each to stir them with, a chopping knife and board, and a can opener.
First, start the beans cooking in one pan: you're aiming for soft, almost on the point of mushy, just as you're going to add them to the rest of the chilli. You could follow the instructions on the packet — typically something like boiling for 15 minutes, then simmering for 45 — but these days I use a pressure cooker, which does the beans nicely in about the time it takes to do the rest of the preparation.
Put the olive oil, cumin and oregano in the other pan, and turn the heat up to just above medium. Let the oil heat up while you chop the onions (cut in half, then chop into centimetre-wide pieces across the short axis); when you add the onions, they should sizzle. Cut the chilli peppers in half, leaving the seeds in, and slice each half finely; add these to the pan. Dice the green peppers finely (1cm square pieces), and chop the red peppers into slightly bigger pieces (halve, then chop each half in a three by three grid). Add these to the pan along with the onions and chillis, and slice (or crush) the garlic in too. Fry this all together for about three minutes, then add the paprika, chilli flakes and salt, and cook until the onions are soft, stirring the mixture so that everything's coated in the spices. If it sticks to the bottom of the pan, add a little water.
Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes and tomato puree. Bring the mixture to a boil (which shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes anyway). Drain the beans (which, I'll remind you, should be soft; think baked beans), rinse them thoroughly, and add them to the pan, stirring everything together until it's well mixed. Add a little more water if necessary, and cook for about another ten minutes.
To serve, ladle out some chilli into a bowl, add a pile of grated cheese and a couple of spoonfuls of creme fraīche to the top, and provide some warmed tortillas.