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Thursday, February 27

Vegan Black Bean Chilli

Anyone who has spent much time making chilli appreciates there are as many ways to make it as there are to eat it. It is one of the most versatile, flavourful, nutritious, transportable, hospitable dishes on the planet. It works beautifully straight out of the pot, or as a casserole served with cornbread. It's an essential ingredient to veggy nachos, burritos, tacos, and a host of other tummy-pleasing meals. 

This recipe, refined over decades of cooking for vegetarian and vegan friends, is about as simple as it gets. As I leaned sometime ago less, in the way of ingredients, is often more in unadulterated flavour. The more I cook, the truer I am to the natural flavour profile of the dish I'm creating. 

I like black beans. A lot. I like their texture, when cooked from dry beans, their rich expresso colour, their creaminess, and at the same time their meatiness. I like how some beans stay a bit firmer than others, and the way they accommodate an infinite variety of sides and toppings. They also make an excellent topping themselves, especially on a plain omelette. 

What You Need

Slow Cooker 
Dried Black Beans - 500g or 1lb
Cumin - 2 heaping tbs
Dark Roast Coffee - 1 heaping tbs
Sea Salt - 1tbs
Coarse Black Pepper - 1tbs
Chilli Flakes - 1tbs
*Hot Smoked Paprika - 2tsp 
Use Sweet Smoked Paprika, if you don’t want it 
too spicy
Tomato Passata - 680g or 24 ounces

What You Do

Ideally prepare the chilli in your slow cooker the day before you want to eat it. 
Rinse beans in colander under cold running water. Place in slow cooker. Cover beans with approximately four inches of cold water. Set slow cooker to high heat and cook for about four hours, stirring often and replenishing water as needed. 
When beans are tender, add cumin, coffee, salt, pepper, chilli flakes, paprika and passata. Mix well.
Turn slow cooker to low setting and simmer another couple hours for maximum flavour. 
Taste, Taste, Taste. 
Adjust seasoning to your palate. 

Makes plenty for four hearty eaters.
Serve with your favourite sides and toppings.