This is the only ‘chili’ I’ve ever made, and it was fabulous. I’ve always loved the look of black beans, so I thought a simple black bean chili would be a good place to start in cooking them. I made up this recipe after reading many other black bean and black bean chili recipes (Cuban as well as Mexican). I am still amazed by the gorgeous flavour this dish had. It will be a regular for sure.
Black Bean Chili:
- 1 and 1/2 cups dried black beans, put to soak the night before (or use tinned if you can find them)
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or grated
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano (I used Italian, but use Mexican if you can – it’s different apparently)
- 3 tsp red pepper flakes (or just chop up a small red capsicum)
- 1 tsp chilli powder (or less or none if you don’t want it hot)
- 1 heaped tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tin organic crushed tomatoes (I really like Aldi’s organic range)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp salt (it sounds a lot, but it’s ok I promise – it’s a lot less than a restaurant would put in!)
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, for stirring through at the end
- Drain the soaked beans and place them in a large saucepan with enough water to cover by a few inches. Bring to boil then simmer for 40 minutes or until cooked (or skip this and use tinned beans).
- Drain cooked beans and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, fry onion and garlic in some oil until just starting to brown and smelling good. Add dashes of water to cool it down if it seems to dry or it looks like burning.
- Once the onion and garlic is cooked, add the rest of the spices and herbs (except fresh coriander leaves) and fry for a minute or two.
- Add the tomatoes and stir really well to get any stuck spices off the bottom of the pan.
- Add cooked, drained beans and a cup or two of water, and simmer up to 1 hour to fully develop the flavours. Add more water if needed, stir occasionally. Reduce it to thicken or add more water to make it a soupy consistency.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in coriander leaves.
- Serve with tortillas, chapattis, pita bread or rice and salad, or any other way you please.
Remember most stews/curries/chilis taste better the next day!