Let us consider chili. What makes chili chili? Is it just the presence of chiles or chile powder? Is it the combination of that with… certain specific other ingredients? I know there are purists who refuse to admit beans to the party, but first of all I think beans are key to chili, and second of all those people don’t seem very fun to hang out with.
The reason I’m asking is that this is chili, or “chili,” but it’s got a bunch of curry powder in it too, which doesn’t just add a flavour dimension, it changes it completely. This might just be a curried beans and potatoes dish, unless there’s a particular chili rule that admits it.
The recipe comes from Vegan Yack Attack which… teeheehee! And yes indeed, this is a vegan chili (or a vegan whatever-it-is). The only real change I made was to use a chipotle in place of the optional fresh jalapeno she recommended – first off, I always have them around, and second, you’ve got the smokiness of the paprika meeting up with the smokiness of the chipotle, and who am I to complain about that? I also had to DIY the tomatoes with green chiles – I see a can of that every time I go to the supermarket, and that day? Nope. So I did a can of the fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and then a little can of green chiles. Might have added more green chile action into the game than there otherwise would have been, but I don’t think the dish was the worse for it.
This recipe does something interesting in that it uses the slow-cooker, on high, before you close it all in, to kind of start off the cooking like you might in a pan. Never seen that before. I think if the idea was to sweat the onions etc., an actual pan probably would have worked better.
Veggie Curry Chili
1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle, minced (and seeded if you’re not feeling tough today)
4 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 14-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles, OR 1 14-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes + 1 4-oz can diced green chiles
1 14-oz can black beans
1 14-oz can pinto beans
2 bay leaves
juice of 1 lime
Turn your slow-cooker on to high. Yes, before anything goes in it.
Add the potatoes, green pepper, onion, garlic, chipotle, curry powder, chili powder, and smoked paprika into the slow-cooker, and stir to coat everything with the spices.
Stir in the tomatoes, green chiles, beans, and bay leaves.
Now, cook – either keep it on high for 3-4 hours, or turn it down to low and let it go for 6 hours.
When it’s done. stir in the lime juice just before serving.
This inspired the statement “all chili should have potatoes in it,” which is an interesting idea to which I’ll need to give further thought.