bean chili

6 portions — 25 minutes

A hearty, warm dish. The above photo is the day-after portion.

When making chili, we swap vegetables in and out depending on what we have. For instance, we might add only carrots, or two parsnips, or potatoes. Parnips, like carrots, are cheap and plentiful in winter. Celery is common in chili recipes, but we omit it because Devine isn't a fan.

Beans. For beans, we try and use black beans as the bulk of the recipe, but we like to add chickpeas. Chickpeas in chili is not common, but it's a legume that we always have on hand and that we both love (we don't keep pinto, or kidney beans). Swapping chickpeas for lentils would also be delicious.

Canned beans? It is possible to use canned beans, but buying dry beans is cheaper, and means less weight on the boat. For those who insist on using cans, 1 drained 425 g (15 oz) can of chickpeas and 1 drained 425 g (15 oz) cans of black beans is fine for this recipe.

Beer? Beer provides a great flavorful medium for the beans and vegetables to simmer in, it adds depth of flavor. Dark, stouts and amber beer lend well to chili. You can omit the broth or beer and exchange for 350 ml of extra tomatoes and their juices.

Chile powder. This is different than chili powder. Chile powder refers to pure dried, crushed (and sometimes smoked) chipotle, habanero, ancho, guajillo, piri piri, kashmiri, etc. There are no other added ingredients. To make your own, see this recipe.

Cocoa powder. Adding cocoa powder is a trick we learned from making Japanese curry roux. Japanese cooks like to add chocolate. It pairs well with chili. Like beer, it adds depth to the dish..

Pressure cooker. We use our pressure cooker to prepare our chili because it helps us save on fuel (our boat uses LPG), and because we prepare beans from dry. Adjust cooking times for your altitude.

Fresh tomatoes. If you have plenty of chopped fresh tomatoes available, or if you can your own, you can use 800 g (roughly 10 to 12 whole, although it depends on the kind of tomato, e.g., cherry vs roma) of chopped fresh tomatoes instead of a can.


black beans375 g, cooked
chickpeas250 g, cooked
olive oil30 ml
yellow onion1
garlic4 cloves, minced
jalapeno peppers2
chile powder8 g
cumin seeds5 g
oregano3 g, dry
tomato can796 g
cocoa powder2.5 g
water500 ml
natural brown sugar15 g
lemon juiceto taste