Smokey Black Bean Chilli

Smokey Black Bean Chilli
Smokey Black Bean Chilli

It’s been 25°C in London this week, so naturally I thought I’d make a nice bowl of refreshing chilli, yeah, good one.
I’ve got a bit of a love hate relationship with chilli, it’s often the rubbish vegetarian option that rarely has any chilli in it. Time and again it’s a sad, watery can of tinned tomatoes with a few beans chucked in, isn’t that just pasta sauce? Living in Camden I often see, what looks like puddles of this ‘pasta sauce chilli’ splattered on pavements outside bars and kebab shops. Mmmm, very appetising.
Sorry, that was a bit rank but at least you know the type of chilli I WON’T be making. My version is hot, smokey and sexy… Actually, it’s very beany so if you suffer with irritable bowel syndrome perhaps lay off it in a date situation. Starting to think ‘sexy’ was the wrong word to use in this instance, let’s go with ‘sassy’ instead. Hot, smokey and sassy… Not that there’s anything wrong with having irritable bowel syndrome, I hear it’s the most common of all the gastrointestinal disorders… Who’s hungry?

Smokey Black Bean Chilli
Serves 6 / Takes 45 minutes / V Vn 🌶
The Chilli
1 Small red onion, chopped
2 Medium carrots, grated
2 Tbs tomato purée
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 cans of black beans,rinsed and drained
1 can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
2 corn on the cobs, kernels removed (or 2 small cans, drained)
1 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
1 Whole red chilli, diced (less if you don’t like it so hot)
(Suitable for home freezing. Consume within 3 months)
1/3 mug brown basmati rice per person or a baked sweet potato.
1 Avocado (allow half an avocado per person)
1 small garlic clove
Juice of 1 lime
Greek or soya yogurt (optional)
Pickled chillies to garnish (optional)
TIP: This recipe does make a lot of chilli so I like to freeze half the batch so I can enjoy an easy dinner another day. 

1. If you’re making rice then put it on first. I use brown basmati rice. Pour a 1/3 of a mug of rice per person into a pan and fill with double the amount of cold water. Season with salt, cover and bring to the boil. Once boiling bring it down to a simmer, cover again for around 15 minutes or until the water has absorbed. Take off the heat, cover and leave to one side. The rice will be cooked by the time you finish the chilli.
(If you’re doing a sweet potato instead then stab it a couple of times with a fork and chuck it in the oven at 180c for around 45 minutes)
2. Chop your onion and fry in some fry light to soften on a medium heat. Add a bit of water if it starts looking a little brown and let it steam cook (this saves on calories). Whilst the onion is cooking grate both the carrots and put to one side. Once the onion has softened add the garlic, fresh chilli, chilli flakes, smoked paprika and give it a good stir. Add a touch more water and cook for another 2 minutes.


3. Drain and rinse the beans before adding them to the pot along with the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, grated carrot, salt and pepper. Give it a good stir and leave to heat through for a few minutes. In the meantime chop the corn off the cobs by carefully sliding a knife down the cobs. You can use canned sweetcorn if you like but I think fresh is nicer.



4. Add the corn and cook the chilli for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use this time to make the guacamole. It’s very simple, all I do I smoosh up the avocado with a fork with a crushed garlic glove, half a lime a pinch of salt and pepper. Roughly chop the coriander and slice the rest of the lime into wedges.


5. Lastly add the chopped coriander to the chilli and stir through. By now everything should be cooked so you can now assemble your plate. I serve mine with a dollop of guacamole, greek yogurt, a pickled chilli and a squeeze of lime juice. Dust with a little smoked paprika and hey presto, chilli!




I ended up freezing 3 portions and taking one to work the next day for lunch. Later in the week I defrosted one and had it on top of a sweet potato to change things up a bit.


If you’ve had a go at making my chilli or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale

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