Monday, March 7, 2011

Sweet Potato Chili

These days the weather is such that you feel like putting your  head in the fridge in the afternoon,but come night,its chilly weather. Such fluctuations does call for soups -they can be cooked fast or atleast I feel so and  provide warmth dduring the night. Chili does com in th category of stew and can be used as a side dish as well as a hearty soup. I normally stick to the vegetarian chili I had posted previously,but these days I am trying out different chili recipe like this Vegetarian Chili from Jamie Oliver which he made using roasted sweet potato. I could never think of such innovations. The recipe was super simple and only changes I made was the use of three types of beans,and regular green peppers available with me.

Ingredients:
Sweet Potato: 1 atleast :  or peeled and cubed.1-1.5 cups

Cayenne Pepper/ Chilli Powder: 1/2 tsp+ more for sprinkling
Cumin Powder : 1/2  heaped tsp + more for sprinkling
Cinnamon Ground: 1/2 tsp + more for sprinkling
Olive Oil ,Salt & Pepper: as per taste

Onion: 1 chopped fine :around 1/4 cup +
Green Pepper: 1 big: cubed
Fresh Red Chilli: 1 small
Fresh Green Chilli: 1 small or as per taste
Garlic: 2 -3 small cloves

Red Kidney Beans: 1/2 cup
Pinto Beans: 1/2 cup

Tomatoes: Peeled & chopped : 3 ripe
Tomato Puree: 4  tbsp +

Fresh Cilantro: 1 small bunch

Preparation:
Peel,and cube sweet potato. Sprinkle with salt,pepper,cinnamon,chilli powder and cumin.Drizzle with olive oil and toss well to coat. Layer in a lined baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven at 400F for 20+ minutes or until browned.

You can also go for 450F and lesser roasting time.Take out the roasted potatoes and keep aside. I actually had few pieces one they cooled a bit just to see whether they were seasoned properly. :) You can go for just salt and pepper roasting and optionally add the spices when they are out of the oven and are still hot. Or ust add the spices in the chili. I went for salt and pepper roasting and then added the spices in the chili.

Presoak and cook the beans till done. Chop the onion roughly into small pieces.Mince/crush the garlic.Cube the bell pepper.Blanch,peel and chop the tomatoes. You can also use tomato paste instead of tomatoes + puree. Separate the cilantro leaves from the stalk and chop and keep aside each separately.Here we are using the cilantro stem for additional flavour.

Heat Olive oil in a deep pan,add onion,peppers and garlic and cook till the onion changes colour and the peppers start to cook for about 5 minutes.

Add coriander stalks/stem ,slit chillies and spices (cumin,coriander and  cinnamon).Cook for few more minutes.
Add the cooked beans along with little water in which they are cooked,salt, tomatoes chopped and the tomato puree and mix well. You can add little coriander leaves as well. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer,cover and cook for 15-20 minutes more when the required consistency is reached. If too thick add more water.

Just before taking off the heat,stir in the roasted sweet potatoes. Heat through. You can mash a few pieces of sweet potatoes and beans to make it look thick. On sitting it thickens a bit as well. Taste and adjust the spices and salt.

Serve as a side dish or dip with tortillas/breads/rice.

I loved it both as a side as well as a thick soup.Mine had thickened more than needed and the pic shows a very thick chili. I topped crackers with this and enjoyed it. A warm,comforting and hearty dish.A sure shot winner as well.





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