Chili sin carne featured image

Chili sin carne

Many of you may have heard about juicy, comforting and warming dish called Chili con carne. Many of you may also have thought about it as a traditional meal from so much loved Mexican cusine (I confess I did!).

And that is true and false. How can that be? -you’ll ask. Well, the history of Chili is complicated, let’s say there is more background to it that we may think.

If you ever hear words of dissaproval for calling Chili con carne a Mexican dish, coming from Mexican-born persons – they’re sort of right.

You see, Chili is actually Texas Mexican. It comes from that part of the world called Texas (currently a state in USA, second biggest one after Alaska) which historicaly used to be part of Mexico. Texas was, to say nicely, influenced by the Spaniards who conquered those areas north from recent Mexican border and brought their own customs and ingridients. The delivery from the Old World included spices from Canary Islands and Morocco likie cumin, coriander not vastly used in central and southern Mexico, as well as wheat and cattle that in the northern climate of Texas could flourish.

The New World also provided some beautiful ingridients to the Tex Mex cusine. To name few- chiles, tomatoes and beans added to the native stews made out of turkey or venisons.

And that’s how the delicious union was born and introduced to the public of San Antonio by the legendary Chilli Queens (who were basically businesswomen selling their homemade food off the streets) in 1800s and later to the rest of the world.

If you like that dish but want to keep it plant based and simple to prepare follow my quick and easy recipe for Chilli sin carne below. Perfect food on the road.

Ingridients (serves 2):

  • 1 purple onion
  • 2 or cloves of garlic
  • oil to fry
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tin of tomatoes (200ml)
  • 2 dried chillis/fresh or chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • red capsicum
  • 3 medium size potatoes/or 1 sweet potatoe
  • tin of black beans (rinsed)
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • fresh coriander
  • other vegetables (optional)
  • to serve: lime/ coconut yoghurt/ avocado/ rice/ corn chips


Slice the onion (doesn’t need to be small pieces I like chunks) and fry on a preheated pan with some oil for few minutes and add garlic with all the spices , fry for another 5-7 minutes until onion is softer.

Add tomato paste and cook it for around 3-5 minutes.

Add sweet potatoes and veg stock, so they can cook (start with 1/4 of a cup and see how they are going).

When they soften but not quite cooked yet add 1/2 tin of tomatoes, capsicum and beans, add coriander and cook on medium heat until potatoes are nicely cooked.

Taste and add more spices if needed.

Serve with corn chips/ rice/ avo/ vegan sour cream/ coconut yoghurt and more coriander or whatever you desire.

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