Sweet potato and pepper chilli

One of the hard things about giving up tomatoes entirely is the fact that it makes simple pasta sauces a bit more difficult and it rules out this chilli I've been perfecting over the last few years. I doubt I will be able to give it up altogether.

This chilli is a vegetarian alternative to chilli con carne which I am now unable to digest properly. I like to put as many spices as I can into it and there is no set rule for what goes in. Use about a teaspoon or so of each of the spices. Use the amount of chilli heat you are comfortable with.

Anyway, here's the ingredients:

1 onion, chopped up
2 cloves of garlic, chopped up
1 red, yellow and green pepper, chopped up
oil for frying
some paprika and / or smoked paprika
some ground cumin
some ground coriander
some chilli powder and / or chilli seeds
a couple of finger chillies with all the seeds
some oregano
a grind of nutmeg
a dash of cinnamon
a dash of cayenne pepper
a tin of tomatoes
a couple of tins of kidney beans
about 350 ml of vegetable stock or water
one or two sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
salt and pepper to taste

Here's how you make it:

1. Fry the onion and peppers in a little oil until softened.
2. Add the garlic and all the spices, and continue frying for a couple of minutes
3. Add the tomatoes, kidney beans and enough stock to make the sauce loose (but not too loose).
4. Simmer for 30 minutes or so. Check the seasoning
5. Add the sweet potatoes, continue for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are done. If you overcook the potatoes it ruins the whole thing, so keep an eye on it.

Serve with brown rice. My children like to put cheese on top.


Well, this tomato based concoction is the starting point for many simple curries and you could invent about 100 meals just by varying the spices and what you put into it. The technique is generally the same, but the most important thing is to have fun experimenting. You don't really need a cook book for this stuff and it generally turns out OK.


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