A proper good chilli satisfies your soul with its hot, smoky flavours. It’s perfect rich and hearty winter food. Beans, tomatoes, paprika and cayenne are essential to produce this distinctive taste: but switching minced beef for sweet potato gives a certain sweetness, which complements the fiery kick, and gives an all-round softer texture. Whether you like your chilli heaped on rice, or squashed into tacos or tortillas, this vegetable chilli gets one up over its meaty predecessor.
Ingredients (Serves Four)
- 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
- 1 level teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- a bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 1 fresh green chilli
- 2 x 400g tinned beans
- 2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (Gas Mark 6). Using a large chopping knife, cut the sweet potatoes into bite-sized chunks.
2. Line a baking tray with tin foil, placing the sweet potatoes on top, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch each of cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for thirty minutes, until golden.
3. Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Deseed and chop the peppers and the chillis – keep the seeds for an extra kick.
4. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan, and cook the onion, peppers and garlic for five minutes. Add the chilli and spices, and cook for another five minutes.
5. Drain the beans, and add them to the pan with the tinned tomatoes. Briefly bring to the boil before leaving to simmer for 25 minutes.This is also when you should think about putting your rice on to boil if you so choose.
6. Take the sweet potato chunks out of the oven, and stir into the chilli with most of the coriander.
7. Serve with rice or tortilla chips, with the rest of the coriander, and plenty of guacamole. For those who need a cooling touch and a vegan substitue to sour cream, try soya coconut yoghurt.