Simon’s Favorite Chili
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 – 3 cups onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 – 2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced **Can sub with 1 bulgarian carrot hot pepper, or 2 buena mulatta we should have these at the market and store for at least the next few weeks.
3 – 8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup bulgur, rinsed **See below for how to make bulgur from Rainshadow wheatberries
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin ** I double both the chili powder and the cumin, then I add 1tbsp paprika, 1tsp cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, and turmeric to taste. I usually add this mix and then smell it, then I keep adding more till it smells just right.
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (about 2 medium or 6 plum tomatoes)
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce **extra sauce can be added in place of fresh tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed **Doesn’t really matter what types you use, whatever’s in the pantry will work; dry beans can be used ~1/2cup dry beans = 1 can. Make sure your beans are fully cooked before adding.
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and jalapeño and sauté, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the bulgur, chili powder, and cumin and stir until well combined.
- Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Season with salt to taste. Serve with a sprinkling of cilantro, if desired.
There is some magic here where the carrots, bulgar, and beans cook down with the spices and you can’t even tell there’s no meat in it. Which is part of the point, duh. I’ve definitely fooled some devout meat eaters into thinking there had to be some kind of meat in here, or at least the chili was good enough that they liked it anyway.
You can follow the recipe in its original form or you can use my notes to make it extra hecking tasty. See comments with ** for my additions. If you follow the original instructions the chili tends to be a mild to medium heat depending on the peppers you use and how well you de-seed them. My preference is to make this chili very spicy.
I find this recipe tends to be quite dry, so I usually add a couple cups of water when I add the sauce and the beans and then more throughout. You can also cook this down for as long as you want. I like it to be nice and thick when serving. Always better the next day, funny how that works. I also like to double the recipe and then eat chili all week, but that’s just me.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it is a very strong base, you can modify it pretty heavily and end up with some dang good chili. For instance when the winter squash comes around, throw some of that in here just to boost it up a notch; butternut, delicata, tetra, pumpkin, acorn, all would work, peel if necessary, cube it, boom.