Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Smokin' Hot Vegetarian Chili Recipe

My recipe didn't win the chili cookoff at my work, but it'll always be a winner to me.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 green or yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, minced
1 habanero pepper, seeded, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup bulgur (aka cracked wheat) – available at Whole Foods and health food stores
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup of grated cheddar cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper and jalapeño and habanero peppers and sauté until onion lightly browns and carrots and celery soften a little (usually 5-10 minutes). Add tomatoes, beans, water, bulgur (this ingredient is key-- it gives this vegetarian recipe a thicker, 'meatier' texture), white wine vinegar, garlic and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, until bulgur is tender and chili thickens, stirring often to make sure the bottom doesn't burn (about 30 minutes). If you’re hungry, then ladle into a bowl, sprinkle grated cheddar on top and eat. If you can wait, turn off the heat and let the chili thicken even more, and then ladle and sprinkle cheddar when ready. In my experience, this chili tastes even better the day after, so look forward to leftovers. This recipe makes enough for 6 adults.


Anonymous said...

This sounds so good-- maybe I will make it this weekend!


chanchow said...

Thanks NR. Try it, and I hope you like it! To give credit where it's due, my recipe is based off one I found on Epicurious, but I made some key additions... If you want it spicier, I'd add more chili powder. To make it less, maybe drop the habanero.

junebee said...

Can you use tofu instead of bulger? (Since I'm married to a Chinese guy, we usually have tofu in the pantry, whereas bulger would require a special trip to the health food store which is not exactly nearby).

chanchow said...

Tofu would be tricky because it wouldn't keep its shape if cooked in the chili (unless you're good with tofu, which I'm not). Bulgur stays the same shape, but softens into a tapioca-like consistency. It also helps absorb the water.

If you do tofu, perhaps use less water and add tofu at the end, so that it doesn't fall apart with all the stirring.

Let me know if it works. That would be a great alternative.

junebee said...

Then I'm wondering if some sort of pasta would be better to use, such as cous-cous or orzo. (Something that's in little teeny pieces). The starch in the pasta would provide the thickening.

Anonymous said...

Just made some except I couldn't get ahold of any bulger, looking forward to eating it

Adam F. said...

Just made this tonight, the bulgur is great, I haven't used it before. It gives a great consistency, can't wait to use it in other recipes. I omitted the chili powder but kept the seeds in the habanero and jalapenos. Plenty spicy!