Spicy 3-Bean Chili

It’s cold outside…really freezing…and you need something to warm your bones. Well, this is the recipe for you! Chili is a great comfort food anyway, but a nice bowl of thick and spicy chili on a freezing day is as close to a perfect food experience as you can find.

I incorporate a touch of cocoa powder with the masa harina. This adds richness and deep color to the chili that’s hard to accomplish otherwise. Plus, the combination of corn, cocoa and chili spices feels authentic.

This recipe is reasonably simple to make, but it takes about 2 hours to complete because of the cooking time. I recommend doubling the recipe and taking advantage of eating it for nearly a week or freezing the leftovers.

Difficulty: Simple

Yield: about 6-8 servings

  • 2 medium-sized onions, chopped into medium dice

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into medium dice

  • 2 red sweet peppers, seeded and chopped into medium dice

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (optional)

  • 1-2 dried chili peppers, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon yeast extract

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari

  • 500 grams (16 ounces) of canned chopped tomatoes

  • 350 grams (12 ounces) of canned black beans

  • 350 grams (12 ounces) of canned red or kidney beans

  • 175 grams (6 ounces) of canned white beans

  • 2 tablespoons of masa harina

  • 2 tablespoons non-fat cocoa powder

  • salt and pepper

  • garnish: fresh coriander, sliced green onions, sliced avocado, soy yogurt

  • Heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and sweet peppers to the pot when it is hot (add a few drops of water to the pan…they should turn into balls and float around the fan like mercury). Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the vegetables. Stir briefly to allow the water to come out of the vegetables. Cook the vegetables until they soften completely – about 8-10 minutes. Add the grated garlic and optional extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine.
  • Add the spices and stir to mix. Be sure to add 2-3 tablespoons of water if you didn’t use the optional oil. Add the yeast extract and soy sauce or tamari to the pot. Mix and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes with any liquid from the can. Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the canned beans, discard the liquid, and add the beans to the pot. Add enough water to the pot to cover the contents by 3 cm (1 inch). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 90 minutes. Stir the contents occasionally to prevent any sticking or scorching. Add small amounts of water if the contents dry out too much.
  • Combine the masa harina and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of water and stir the contents to create a thick paste. Add the paste immediately to the chili and mix well. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, remove the pot from the heat, adjust the seasoning and serve hot. Garnish each portion with chopped fresh coriander, green onions, avocado and soy yogurt.

Jack’s Fresh Tip

You can easily adapt this recipe to include more vegetables. Think chopped-up sweet potatoes or butternut squash – both are excellent options – but make sure to add them later in the cooking process…about 1/2-way or with 45 minutes left on your timer (you did set a timer, right?).

I like to add a few drops of liquid smoke to the finished chili…but only if the mood strikes me and I want a bit of smokiness in my chili (it reminds me of eating chili around the campfire, but that’s an entirely different story).

To prepare your own chili powder mixture, thoroughly mix the following spices in a small bowl: 2 tablespoons sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon spicy smoked paprika. Store the contents in a sealed container for up to 6 months.

Techniques used

Go back to recipes

This is a Sample Recipe

To see more recipes like this subscribe now