Nov 21, 2011

Chili beats the chill

Good 'food' shows in India are few and far between! We have Masterchef Australia, I will not speak of the local one and taint this story/my blog and we have Man Vs. Food. I personally don't enjoy emaciated beach babes getting flabbergasted over Asian street fare or pompous chefs invading restaurant kitchens across the globe. I like shows where I learn something new and here's what I learned from Man Vs. Food last week, Americans love their Chili. I mean I kind of already knew that but I hadn't fathomed how similar Chili cook offs were to baby beauty pageants, hysterical! So they like their Chili really hot and since we are the current record holders for the 'bhut jolokia' which is off the charts on the Scoville scale, I often wonder if we'll find it 'hot'. Anyway, the one the host tried genuinely seemed to blow his mind, he really loved it but in that painful way, an enjoyable painful way. (that combination and range of emotions and sensory pleasures can only be felt with food and love!) So now I wanted to make chili again, this time the right way, no pansy garbage like 'sweet paprika' please.. this time I was going to bring it on and I think I kind of did. The home version was the 'senior' version, my dad lives with me but I loved both for their own special chili-ness!


1/2 kg chunky mince
6 thin slices of spanish chorizo or 200 gms of chorizo sausage
4-5 fatty bacon rashers

2 white onions, finely chopped
6 garlic pods, crushed
2 large tomatoes, blanched and chopped, keep it pulpy
4 tbsp tomato paste or puree
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp chipotle chilli paste
1 tbsp chipotle Tabasco
2 chicken stock cubes
1/2 cup soaked, boiled kidney beans
4 tbsp cooking oil

Spice Mix:
1 tbsp red chilli flakes
2 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp white pepper powder

PREP: Heat the oil, fry the onions and garlic till light brown. Add the mincemeat, fry on high till the meat changes colour and breaks up. Use a wooden spatula to break up the meat, we prefer fine mince and not chunky pieces, so crumble it up accordingly. Add the chicken stock cubes, the tomatoes, the puree and the sauces (ketchup and tabasco) along with sugar and chipotle chilli paste. stir well and cook for another 20 minutes. then add the spice mix, salt, chorizo and kidney beans along with the bacon, chopped into small bits, stir in well. cover and cook for another 10 minutes. I add the kidney beans last, check for salt, add 1/2 cup of water and pressure cook for a whistle or two, to make sure the chilli powders are cooked through. I hate the back of the throat burning when the chili in a dish is not cooked out. this is a very potent dish, I love serving it topped with grated cheddar and hard crusty bread. I also love to keep leftovers for sloppy joe sandwiches, all american hot dogs or just as a topping for rice ...then I baked it, thats my twice cooked chilli for better leftovers :)