In my book, chocolate and chilli should be great friends. Whether in a chocolate bar or savoury dish, these two ingredients bring out the best in each other. Apparently, Mexican cuisine has long known about this happy friendship. This chocolate and black bean recipe is an attempt to use this flavour combination in a subtle and tasty way that can appeal to everyone’s taste-buds, whether young or old. The cocoa in the recipe enhances the chilli with a smooth flavour that isn’t too overpowering. The black beans are also wonderful: shiny little gems bobbing about in a rich, chocolately sauce. What’s more, the chilli is nutritious with protein, iron and lots of other good things. And, it’s easy to make. This recipe makes generous portions for 3- 4 adults and a toddler.
- splash of sunflower oil
- 1 onion, chopped or sliced
- 1 red pepper, chopped or sliced
- 2 carrots, chopped or sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 tsp cocoa
- 1/2 to 1 tsp mild chilli powder
- 200ml low salt vegetable stock
- 1 tin of black beans (or equivalent cooked from dried beans), drained
- Gently fry the onion in a splash of oil. Use a large pan. Fry the onion for a few minutes (whilst you prepare the other vegetables)
- Add the pepper, carrots and garlic to the pan. Fry for a further 5 minutes until the vegetables are glistening and beginning to soften.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, the cumin, paprika, cocoa, chilli powder and stock. Stir well, cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the black beans, cover and continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
- We served the chocolate and black bean chilli in tortilla wraps with rice and cheese. It could also be served simply with rice or would be nice with a jacket potato.