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Veggie chilli

Veggie chilli

This veggie chilli takes a bit of effort and has a large number of ingredients – but it’s tasty (and not watery!)


  • Mushrooms, ~350g, diced (½ inch)
  • Courgette, 1 large, diced (½ inch)
  • Celery, 4 ribs, diced (½ inch)
  • Leek, 1, halved lengthways, sliced fine
  • Red chilli, 2, roughly chopped
  • Ancho chilli, 2, roughly chopped and rehydrated
  • Brown onion, 1 large, minced
  • Red onion, 1 medium, roughly chopped
  • Tomato, 1, roughly chopped
  • Garlic, ½ bulb, roughly chopped
  • Ginger, 4cm, roughly chopped
  • Cinnamon bark, 2 sticks
  • Caraway seed, 1½ tbsp
  • Coriander seed, 1½ tbsp
  • Black peppercorn, 8
  • Whole tomatoes, 400g tin, broken up
  • Mixed beans, 2 400g tins, strained
  • Paprika, 2½ tbsp
  • Smoked paprika, 2½ tbsp
  • Celery salt, 1 tbsp
  • Vegetable oil, ½ tbsp
  • Henderson’s relish
  • Tomato purée, 1 tbsp
  • Harissa, 1 tbsp
  • Coriander, small handful
  • Shot of espresso (or 10ml coffee)
  • Salt + pepper


  1. Toast the cinnamon bark, caraway seed, coriander seed and peppercorns in a pan on a medium-high heat until fragrant. Reserve the cinnamon bark.
  2. Add the caraway seed, coriander seed and peppercorns to the mill followed by the red chilli, ancho chilli, red onion, tomato, garlic, ginger and coriander. Add the vegetable oil, ~50ml of the ancho chilli liquor1 and a good pinch of salt.
  3. Blend until a fine paste then set aside.
  4. Put a large pan on a medium-high heat with a glug of vegetable oil. Add the mushroom and courgette with a pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes until the mushroom and courgette have softened and released a good amount of liquid. Strain the mushroom and courgette then set aside. Reserve the liquid.
  5. Add a glug of vegetable oil to the pan, add the brown onion and leek then cook until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add the celery followed by a pinch of salt and cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the tomato purée and harissa then add the cinnamon bark, paprika, smoked paprika and celery salt. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the spice paste. Cook for 10 minutes until fragrant and just starting to stick.
  8. Add the mushroom, courgette and the beans then stir in the tin of tomatoes. If chilli is looking too dry add some of the mushroom and courgette cooking liquid.
  9. Bring to a simmer then put the lid on and cook for 1 hour.
  10. Take the lid off and reduce to your desired consistency.
  1. The water that the ancho chilli rehydrated in.