Friday 4 November 2016

Smoky Veggie Chilli with Cheesy Jacket Potatoes.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

With chocolate!!

That's right. My chocolate addiction has taken me so far as to even putting a teaspoon of cocoa powder into my veggie chilli. It felt so wrong when I was cooking it but once I tasted it, I knew it had been the right thing to do. The cocoa doesn't affect the flavour but does give a warmth and deep richness to the finished dish. Don't leave it out!

I've made a chilli on the blog before but with lamb. This time, I went down the vegetarian route. I'm trying to force myself to eat more vegetables and if adding chocolate to them will help, then so be it. I cooked this on Wednesday when the weather had suddenly turned bitingly cold and frosty.

The one benefit to cold weather? The bubbling pots of comfort food of which this chilli is my new meatless favourite. I grilled my vegetables on a grill pan before throwing them into a pot with plenty of spices. This step was something that I considered skipping but again, once I tasted the end product, knew I'd made the right decision. And, if you've never grilled sweet potatoes before, now's your chance!

The chilli simmers for a while to allow all those wonderful flavours time to meld together. I served it over cheesy jacket potatoes because as far as I'm concerned there is nothing that screams winter comfort food more than a fluffy jacket potato with crispy skin. Finally, it wouldn't be a chilli night in our house without plenty of toppings. I'm talking corn, more cheese, lettuce, spring onion, sliced chillies and to cool everyone down, yoghurt. Enjoy!

Chilli, previously: chilli con carne

Baked Potatoes, previously: stuffed potato skins // homemade oven chips // peri peri oven fries // herb fries // smashed potatoes

A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Smoky Veggie Chilli:
1. Onion
2. Olive Oil
3. Cumin Seeds
4. Ground Cumin
5. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
6. Ground Coriander
7. Hot Smoked Paprika
8. Cocoa Powder
9. Red Chilli Pepper
10. Bell Pepper
11. Sweet Potatoes
12. Carrots
13. Tinned Beans
14. Salt
15. Tinned Tomatoes
16. Baby Spinach
17. Fresh Coriander

For the Cheesy Jacket Potatoes + Chilli Toppings:
1. Potatoes
2. Mature Cheddar
3. Tinned Sweetcorn
4. Lettuce
5. Plain Yoghurt
6. Spring Onions

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, let's put the potatoes in to bake. Get the oven on to 220C.

Wash and dry 4 medium Potatoes. Prick them all over with a knife. I once forgot to prick the potatoes before baking. Read what happened here.

Place the potatoes on to the oven rack and bake for 45 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the potato is cooked through.

While the potatoes bake, let's cook our smoky veggie chilli. Place a grill pan over a high heat and place a large, deep pot over a low heat. We'll be grilling the vegetables and adding them to the pot, bit by bit. You may grill them all beforehand or do it my way.

Peel and roughly dice 1 Onion. Place the chunks on to the hot grill pan. Don't be tempted to turn them too soon. I like to give at least 2 minutes per side and don't use any oil whatsoever.

While the onion grills, let's get our spice base going. Drizzle a few tablespoons of Olive Oil into the pot.

Once the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds.

I love cumin in my chilli so added in 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin too.

For a little heat, 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes.

For all-round warmth and because I couldn't resist, 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander.

To get all those smoky flavours started, I threw in smoked paprika.

In went 1 teaspoon Hot Smoked Paprika.

Finally, the secret ingredient! The cocoa powder which is just the normal one that we all use for baking.

It will seem weird but trust me, and throw in 1 teaspoon Cocoa Powder.

Stir all the spices in and let them sizzle until fragrant. If things are too dry, add a little more oil.

By now, the onion should be charred and golden. As with all the veg, we're not looking to cook the onion. We just want a little colour on the outside.

Grab a pair of tongs and add the onion to the spices.

Stir it in over a low heat.

Next, the bell pepper and red chilli.

De-seed the chilli, if you prefer, and roughly chop everything up. Grill until the edges are just charred.

Add in the red chilli.

And, the bell pepper chunks.

Stir them in and inhale the wonderful smell.

Next, grab 4 medium Sweet Potatoes.

Peel and roughly dice them. You may also slice them into rounds. Grill them until they have the most wonderful grill marks.

I love those grill marks!

Stir in the potatoes.

Next, take 3 medium Carrots. Mine were on their last legs.

Peel, roughly chop and grill them.

Dump in the carrots.

Stir in and our grilling is done!

Next, grab a tin of beans. I used 1 tin (400g) Broad Beans but any would do.

Add in the beans along with all their liquid.

Let's also throw in 1 teaspoon Salt.

Finally, tinned tomatoes!

Add in 1 tin (400g) Tinned Tomatoes.

Stir everything together and break up the tomatoes. Bring to the boil.

Cover with a lid and turn the heat right down. Leave to cook for 45 minutes or until the carrots and sweet potatoes are tender. Give the chilli a stir every now and then.

Once the chilli is done, it's time for something green.

I went with baby spinach but any other greens will do.

Add in 2 handfuls Baby Spinach, roughly chopped.

Stir in the spinach until it wilts.

Finally, stir in a handful of Fresh Coriander, chopped. Our smoky veggie chilli is done!

Slice the jacket potatoes in half.

Fluff up the flesh with a fork before sprinkling on 50g Mature Cheddar, grated. If you're in the mood, blast the potatoes under a grill to melt the cheese.

Let's talk chilli toppings!

We have our cheesy jacket potatoes on the side. This chilli would also be great on its own or with fluffy white rice. Yum!

I love Tinned Sweetcorn with my chilli. It gives everything lots of sweetness.

I also love a little more crunch in the form of chopped Lettuce.

To cool things down, there is nothing better than a few dollops of Plain Yoghurt. You could also use sour cream.

For a little more heat and savoury goodness, I had Sliced Chillies and Sliced Spring Onions.

Finally, more Grated Mature Cheddar.

Let's eat!

 I like to pile my veggie chilli high over the cheesy jacket potatoes and then go slightly mad with the toppings. A delicious mess!

Full Written Recipe:

Smoky Veggie Chilli with Cheesy Jacket Potatoes.

Prep Time: About 20 minutes.
Cook Time: About 1 hour.
Serves: About 4-5 people.


For the Cheesy Jacket Potatoes
4 medium Potatoes
50g Mature Cheddar, grated

For the Smoky Veggie Chilli
1 Onion, peeled and roughly diced
Few tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Hot Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Cocoa Powder
1 Bell Pepper, roughly chopped
1 Red Chilli, roughly chopped
4 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
3 medium Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tin (400g) Broad Beans (or any other beans)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 tin (400g) Tomatoes
2 handfuls Baby Spinach, roughly chopped
Handful Fresh Coriander, chopped

Tinned Sweetcorn
Lettuce, chopped
Plain Yoghurt
Chillies, sliced
Spring Onions, sliced
Mature Cheddar, grated

First, to bake the jacket potatoes, pre-heat the oven to 220C. Wash and dry the potatoes. Prick them all over and then place onto the oven racks. Bake for 45 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the potato is cooked through. To serve, split open and fluff up the flesh with a fork. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and add salt and pepper, if preferred.

To make the smoky chilli, place a grill-pan over a high heat and a deep pot over a low heat. Once the grill-pan is hot, place on the chopped onion. Grill until golden all over with a few grill marks.

Meanwhile, place the olive oil into the pot. Once hot, add in the cumin seeds, ground cumin, red chilli flakes, ground coriander, smoked paprika and cocoa powder. Stir until the spices are sizzling. Once the onion is done, add to the pot.

Next, grill the bell peppers and chillies before adding to the pot. Grill the sweet potato and add to the pot. Grill the carrots and add to the pot. Stir everything together over a medium heat. Then, throw in the tinned beans with their water, the salt and the tinned tomatoes. Stir and break up the tomatoes. Bring to the boil before covering with a lid. Cook over a low heat and cook for 45 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and carrots are tender.

To finish, stir in the chopped baby spinach until it wilts. Remove the chill from the heat and stir in the fresh coriander.

Serve the chilli with the cheesy jacket potatoes and all the toppings!

{adapted from jamie oliver}

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Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your chilli!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahamtullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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