Ingredients inspire dishes. My sudden love for Mexican cuisine is totally inspired by the tins of Chipotle Chillies in Adobo sauce that Nupur (One Hot Stove) was so sweet enough to gift me when she was visiting us in Mumbai last year, among many other gifts including a handmade Eggplant cap for Atri :)
Having never cooked Mexican food before, they were just lying at the back of my kitchen shelf for many many months. The day I opened the can and took a teeny taste of the contents, I was sold on this. One tin goes a long way and the large chillies soaked in adobo sauce are bursting with heat and smoky flavours, giving any Mexican recipe an authentic touch.
This Chili dish is something you can serve as a stew to eat with soft tortillas, top slices of bread or make it thinner and have it as a hearty soup on a cold evening. Whichever way, this is guaranteed to be a sureshot crowd pleaser and the spicy flavours will easily agree with the Indian palate.
Vegetarian Chili with black eyed peas
2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 green capsicum
1 red capsicum
6 medium tomatoes
2 cups boiled black eyed peas (Pressure cooked with enough water until very soft and mushy)
2 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce (or use regular green / red chillies finely chopped)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder or more as per preference
1 tsp dried ground oregano
1 tsp freshly ground cumin
Finely chop the garlic, onion, mushrooms and capsicums.
Fill a large pot with 2 L water. Score the tomatoes with a cross at the smooth end. Allow to come to a boil and drop the tomatoes. Once this comes to a simmer, turn off flame and cover for 2 minutes.
Fish out the tomatoes and place them in tap/cold water, until cool enough to handle. Peel off skins and chop to a medium dice, seeds included.
- Heat the oil in a large wok. Saute the garlic for 30 seconds, before adding the onions, capsicums and mushrooms. On a medium flame, let these cook for 7-10 minutes with a pinch of salt added towards the end.
- Once the vegetables are nearly done, add the chopped blanched tomatoes, cooked black eyed peas, chopped chipotle / chillies and spice powders along with a tsp (or as per taste) of salt. Add 1/2-1 cup of water, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- Check for spiciness and salt, adjust the taste according to your preference and remove into a serving bowl. This chilli should be quite dried out if using as a pizza topping or else the base will get soggy. If serving with tortillas or rice, you can leave some amount of liquid in the chili.
Ready pizza bases - 6
Black eyed peas chilli
Grated cheddar cheese - 1 cup
Dried chilli flakes (optional)
Preheat oven to 200C
Spread the chilli over the base. Top with grated cheese and bake for 5-7 minutes, till cheese melts.
Sprinkle oregano and if you like it really hot, then chilli flakes too.
Keep a chilled beer or iced water handy!
We started the Mexican dinner with a bowl of guacamole and baked corn chips (Italia brand). It was the most fun dinner we had in a long time. Thank you Nupur!
If you happen to spot tinned chipotle chillies in a supermarket near you, please leave a comment and I shall include it in a note here, to help the readers.