Monday, October 20, 2014

coconut chili

I kind of wanted to make curry, and I kind of wanted to make chili. I had excellent coconut milk from the Asian market - the boxed kind, and yes the canned kind is fine, but also yes, the boxed kind is better - and neither chili con carne seasoning nor enough curry powder for a full batch of curry. It's the time of year when my spices all run out at once except for like, cake spice and savory.

So this is basically chili, in that it's made with ground beef and beans and peppers and it's spicy, and kind of curry in that it has coconut milk, but the seasoning blend is actually more of a North African flavor profile, because that's what I had in the house. It really works, though. We had it with rice, usually with chopped scallions on top. I'd avoid the other usual chili accompaniments, though cilantro might work. Naan or pita might work instead of rice, too.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned, fat drained. Even if you don't usually drain the fat for chili, I would do so here because of the coconut milk.

3 red bell peppers and a handful of fresh chiles of your choice (or sub in dried chiles later), diced

3 medium onions, diced

2 tablespoons coconut fat or reserved fat from the ground beef

1 can of beans of your choice, or equivalent of dried and cooked (I used vallarta beans)

500 ml coconut milk

Spices, in order, to taste: generous amounts of cumin, black pepper, coriander; notably smaller amounts of cinnamon, cardamom, paprika, clove

Salt to taste.

Real real simple: brown and drain the ground beef. Saute the onion and pepper in the coconut fat until soft. Add the ground beef back, along with the beans, coconut milk, spices, and salt. Simmer covered for half an hour to meld everything, and uncovered until the coconut milk cooks down and the chili is thick.

Adjust salt and heat level to taste - the coconut milk will take a lot of spice, so feel free to add a few squirts of sriracha.