Chilli con carne

Note that quantities, where given, are only approximate, and are dependent on taste.


Serves 2.

  • 1/4 lb beef mince
  • 1 or 2 tsps coriander seeds
  • 1 or 2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • red chillis, finely chopped – 2 birdseye without seeds gives a warm glow
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 400 g tin red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 or 2 tsps cocoa powder
  • small bunch fresh coriander, chopped (optional)


  1. Brown the mince in a little oil then remove from pan. Turn the heat down.
  2. Crush the coriander and cumin seeds together using a pestle and mortar.
  3. To the mince pan, add the crushed seeds, garlic and chilli and warm through. Don’t allow it to burn.
  4. Add the onions, and cook until softened.
  5. Put the mince back in the pan, turn the heat up and add the tinned tomatoes, kidney beans and the cocoa powder, stirring well.
  6. Bring to the boil, stir, then leave to simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.
  7. Stir the coriander, if using, through the chilli, and serve.

To serve

Serve with rice, pitta breads or even hot buttered toast. Sour cream optionally mixed with chives is good to have on the side and a sprinkle of a cheese such as cheddar on the chilli is nice, too.


You could always use soya mince or Quorn to make a vegan or vegetarian version. You probably won’t want to brown it in the first step. Instead, you could soak some dried mushrooms in hot water and drain them, saving the liquor. Add the mushrooms to the chilli, and soak the soya mince in the mushroom liquor for extra flavour. (I haven’t tried this, but I’m sure it would be tasty.)

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