Chilli with Ancho, Chipotle and Cayenne

Mixed chillies

Serves 4

This is a vegan dish. It is made special by the mix of chilli powders. The ancho and chipotle powders add flavour and the cayenne adds heat, and the cumin and oregano give the distinctive Mexican chilli taste that we all love so much. Ancho chillies, so called because of their shape (in Mexican Spanish, ancho means wide) are dried poblano chillies with a mild-to-medium heat. Chipotle chillies (chipotle is a derivative of the Aztec word for smoked chilli), are smoked and dried jalapeno chillies with a medium heat. Cayenne chillies (named after the city of Cayenne in French Guiana) are slightly hot.

There are reportedly up to 3,000 varieties of chillies, so why not experiment with your own blends? And if you create a winner, let me know!

3 tbs vegetable oil
2 large onions, roughly chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
Chilli powder mix: (1 rounded tsp ancho chilli powder, I rounded tsp chipotle chilli powder, ¼ tsp cayenne, 1 heaped tablespoon dried oregano, 1 heaped tablespoon ground cumin, ¼ tsp ground black pepper, a generous pinch of salt)
400ml vegetable stock made with vegan stock powder
2 x 400g tins Mutti tomato pulp (or tins of chopped tomatoes)
250g black turtle beans that have been soaked in water for 24 hours then rinsed and drained.
1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 sweet peppers (1 each of green, yellow and red), deseeded and chopped
Optional: lemon juice and sugar

Heat the oil and sauté the onions until softened and starting to colour, approx. 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for a further minute. Add the chilli powder and stir fry for 1 minute, adding a splash of stock if it starts to catch. Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the turtle beans and simmer covered until the beans are soft. This can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours; you never can tell with turtle beans. Check the seasoning, adding cayenne, salt, lemon juice and/or sugar as necessary to give strong flavours. At this stage the dish can be cooled and kept in the fridge for a couple of days or stored frozen until needed.

To finish the dish, reheat the chilli and add the kidney beans and peppers and simmer for 20 minutes.

This is good served with plain boiled rice, crispy iceberg lettuce and salty tortilla chips.

Posted in Vegan Dishes, Vegetarian Dishes.

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