Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vegetarian Chili

Chili is a spicy stew usually made using pepper and meat. Chili with meat is usually known as 'Chili Con Carne' and the vegetarian one is 'Chili Sin Carne'. I first tasted the vegetarian chili in Denver, Colarado, last winter, when I went for my first ski class. During the lunch break, I had a piping hot vegetarian chili, in a bread bowl. It was almost freezing on the top of the mountains and I enjoyed my piping hot chili. I simply loved it. A few days back I was reading an issue of Reader's Digest and came across a black bean chili recipe. Instantaneously it stuck me that I should make my own vegetarian chili. Finally, today I made my own version of chili and it was super yummy. I did not have black beans at home so used black eye beans and white kidney beans, you can use the beans you have at home.
Black eye beans - 3/4 cup
White kidney beans - 1/2 cup
Corn kernel - 1/4 cup
Tomato - 1 large
Onion - 1 small, diced
Green Pepper/Capsicum - 1 medium sized, diced
Red Pepper - 1 small, diced
Carrot - 1 medium sized, peeled and diced
Celery - 1 stalk, diced
Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Dried Basil - 1 tsp
Dried Oregano - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Soak both the beans in water overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours in warm water. If you are running short on time, you can use the canned beans instead or add hot water to the beans in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 3-5 minutes or just until the beans hydrate and float to the top of the bowl.
2. Make a plus sign on the tomato and place it in a pot of boiling water for a minute or so. Take out the tomato using a slotted spoon and add it to a bowl of cold water. Once tomato cools down, remove the skin and discard it. Finely chop the blanched tomato.
3. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the chopped onions, garlic, carrot, celery, green pepper, red pepper and mix well on high heat for 4-5 minutes.
4. Add the diced tomato pieces, chilli powder, corn kernels, salt and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the dried basil and oregano, mix well.
6. Add 3-4 cups of water, mix well, adjust the salt and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or till the beans become soft.
7. After the pressure is released, mash a part of the beans with a masher. Do not mash the whole thing, we just want the chili to be a little thick. Place the cooker on heat and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.
8. Serve the piping hot chili in a bread bowl or in a soup bowl and you can even top it with a little cheese.



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