Tracing its origins to the Mayan and Aztec staple foods, then adding influences from the settlers of the new-world, Chili has evolved alongside Mexican culture. It comes alive with the signature Mexican spice combination of chili and cumin.
Mexican cuisine has developed into a distinctly new-world fusion of well evolved native food traditions with Spanish, African and Asian influences. Corn and beans were staples of most native tribes in Pre-Columbian America. In colonial times, the Spanish imposed their European traditions that would eventually become incorporated with native foods. As a result of the slave trade, spices and cooking methods from Africa and Asia were introduced to compliment the dishes that evolved into a unique cuisine that is a major part of Mexican culture.
Most of us are familiar with chile con carne (carne meaning meat) but once you’ve tried the meatless version, you end up preferring to keep this as a vegetable dish. For your guests who want meat with the meal, simply accompany this chile with some grilled chorizo or slow roast baby back ribs.
This healthy and hearty chili dish works as a main or a side dish.
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 rib celery chopped
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 0.5 tsp chile flakes
- 1 can 19 oz kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can 12 oz whole kernel corn (keep the liquid)
- 1 can 28 oz diced tomatoes
- 0.5 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
Sauté the onions, red pepper and celery in a large skillet or wok until tender (about 5 minutes).
Meanwhile, open the cans and drain the kidney beans. Mash about 1/3 of the beans.
Stir in the garlic and chili flakes. Cook for about a minute.
Add the kidney beans, corn, tomatoes, vegetable broth and spices. Bring to a boil.
Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes.
Serve with hot crusty bread and top with grated cheese.