I’ve never much been a fan of chilli cone carne; I’ll eat it but usually it’s a bit harsh and acidic for me because of the tinned tomatoes and I’m not that keen on kidney beans. However, I love the principal of it; plenty of chilli, spice and flavour and I’ve been working on my own version for a while. I think I’ve cracked it. My Lentil and Black Bean Chilli has all the same flavour but none of the meat; I promise, you won’t miss the minced beef at all. I’ve said this is enough for four but actually it’s probably enough for six and it’s amazing with homemade guacamole and plenty of rice.
- 2 onions, finely diced £0.20
- 2 peppers, finely diced £0.66
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed £0.05
- 2 chillies, chopped £0.30
- 2 tsp smoked paprika £0.09
- 2 tsp ground cumin £0.10
- 600ml hot vegetable stock £0.20
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes £0.78
- 4 tbsp sundried tomato paste £0.50
- 1 tsp dried oregano £0.05
- 2 tsp sugar £0.05
- 4 tbsp tomato puree £0.12
- 2 cans green lentils, drained and washed £1.00
- 2 cans black beans, drained and washed £1.50
- Salt and pepper £0.02
Total cost £5.62 – if you used dried lentils and beans and soak them overnight it would be cheaper. Serve with rice, baked potatoes or nachos, whichever you prefer!
Fry the onion and pepper in a little oil in a large saucepan for around 15 minutes or until softened.
Add the garlic, chilli, paprika and cumin and cook for two minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, sundried tomato paste, oregano, sugar, tomato paste and salt and pepper. Bring the pan to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
Finally add the beans and lentils and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
This is great served straight from the pan as the lentil and bean mixture has a lovely texture but if you keep some to have for the next day it’s really good and a little bit thicker.
This wasn’t originally meant to be a vegetarian chilli, indeed, version one contained smoked bacon (which is well worth the addition if you fancy it) but as it was so tasty and filling without adding beef mince I didn’t see the point in putting it back in. I love how cheap this is to make; it’s a fantastic store cupboard recipe that uses all sorts of cans that are inexpensive to buy. If you’re a bit sceptical about whether you’d enjoy the lentils instead of the beef I fed this to my Dad who is very much a ‘meal without meat isn’t a meal’ kind of person and it got the full thumbs up from him. And that’s a good enough seal of approval for me.