Vegan Chili

Vegan Chili

The original ‘chili’ originated in southern Texas with working-class Mexican women. Before World War II, hundreds of small, family-run chili parlors (also known as chili joints) could be found throughout Texas and other states. Each establishment usually had a claim to some kind of secret recipe. Beans have been associated with chili as far back as the early 20th century. There are many variations of chiles, being ‘chile con carne’ the most popular. This recipe is based on the later substituting the meat with pumpkin to make it a perfect vegan meal. Use sweet potato instead of pumpkin, but make sure to always use fresh organic vegetables.

I created this recipe for my ‘Día de dos Muertos’ (Day of the Dead) adult cooking class last year. When I asked my students what the dish tasted like, one of them said: “it tastes like Mexico”. Can you imagine how I felt? I love when I get these kind of feedbacks. They’re super important and mean the world to me.

I usually serve this chili over white rice, some simple guacamole on the side and a flour or corn tortilla (for gluten-free).

Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients for 4 to 6 people

1 small butternut pumpkin (1 kg / 2.2 lbs approximately)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 poblano pepper / green capsicum or bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper / fresh chilli finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 x 400gr / 11 oz tin / can of chopped tomatoes
1 x 400gr / 11 oz tin / can of pinto beans
1 cup vegetable stock / broth
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons cornmeal / polenta
1 – 2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro to garnish

• Cut pumpkin into small cubes
• Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-based pot or saucepan
• Sauté onion and pepper / capsicum until soft, for about 3 minutes
• Add garlic and jalapeño, or chilli, and fry for further 2 minutes
• Pour tomatoes and stir until well combined
• Add spices, one at a time, mixing constantly to evenly distribute the flavours
• Mix in the cornmeal / polenta
• Add pumpkin and beans, broth / stock and bay leaf
• Check for seasoning and bring to the boil
• Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes (check after 15 minutes in case that needs more broth / stock)
• Before serving, remove bay leaf and check for seasoning again
• Garnish with fresh cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil

As any stew, this vegan chile is better the day after.

Enjoy and leave your comments bellow. I love to hear from you!

Eat well and be happy!



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