Maureen from Sydney writes:
“I am teaching my HSC student son to cook using your vegetarian cooking videos. You use nutritious ingredients which I hope will help prepare him for what is ahead. Thank you. My question: Do you have a nice Mexican bean recipe to use with corn chips, tomatoes etc? Teenagers like this casual combination. All the best.”
My reply: Hello Maureen, let me see…yes! Here’s a recipe from my first cookbook, ‘Great Vegetarian Dishes’…
This nourishing combination of beans and vegetables is given an extra protein boost with the addition of crumbled home-made curd cheese (panir). To make this a dairy-free dish, add frozen tofu that’s been thawed and crumbled instead of the curd cheese. Chili is delicious served with your choice of breads or rice. Serves 6-8.
2 tablespoons olive oil,
2 hot green chilies, seeded and minced,
1/4 teaspoon yellow asafoetida powder,
1/2 cup diced green peppers,
1/2 cup diced celery,
1/2 cup cooked corn pieces,
3 cups tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped,
3/4 cup tomato paste,
3 cups cooked kidney beans (reserve the bean liquid separately),
1 cup crumbled curd cheese or frozen tofu that’s been thawed and crumbled, or chunks of fried tempe,
1 teaspoon ground cumin,
1 1/2 teaspoons salt,
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste,
1 tablespoon brown sugar,
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley,
Heat the oil in a heavy 3-litre/quart saucepan over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the minced green chili and saute for 1 minute. Add the asafoetida powder and saute momentarily. Add the diced peppers and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
Add the cooked corn and the chopped tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the chili is too thick, add some reserved bean liquid. Serve hot.