Budget Beany chilli (52p a portion)

bean chilliI love this time of year for warming meals that you can leave to simmer for hours until all the flavour mingle and enhance.

A bean chilli is a true example of this – the longer it cooks the richer it becomes.

When cooking for kids I tend to go easy on the actual chilli, but do serve some sliced red firecrackers on the side in case anyone’s feeling adventurous.

I also find it fun to serve little additions to make the bean chilli more interesting, and it’s a great way to use up leftover cheese or a browning avocado. Here’s the recipe –

Soak 1 cup of each dried chickpeas, pinto beans and yellow split peas over night in plenty of water. Make sure you use a large bowl as these all expand. Rinse thoroughly and boil until tender in salted water (45-60 minutes). In a large heavy bottomed casserole dish fry 2 white onions and 5 cloves of garlic in a little olive oil. Add in whatever vegetables you have in the fridge that you’d like using up. I put in 3 carrots, a red pepper and a parsnip but courgettes, potato and pumpkin work well too. I slice the vegetables into small pieces so that they’ll cook easily.

Add 2 tins of tomatoes, 3 tbsp of tomato purée, 1-3 small dried red chilli’s (depending how hot you like it), 3 tsp of smoked paprika, 1 tsp of cumin and 2 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper, put the lid on and place in a moderate oven (gas mark 5 / 190C) for 1-2 hours. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed. If I have any red wine leftover I pour a glug in to make the sauce richer but this isn’t necessary.

Once the sauce is thick and reduced serve hot with rice or corn tortillas (I’ll be posting a recipe for these soon). I also enjoy a sprinkling of cheese and some guacamole  – deliciously hearty and tasty. This recipe is enough to feed a family of 4 for two nights.

1 cup dried chickpeas – 25p
1 cup dried yellow split peas – 25p
1 cup dried pinto beans – 25p
2 tins tomatoes – 64p
3 tbsp tomato purée – 10p
Herbs, garlic, chilli – 10p
Vegetables – £1
Cheese – 75p
Avocado – 50p
Rice – 12p

Total = £4.16 for 8 portions (52p a portion)

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