Kelly has a thing about chili: He figures he makes the best chili, and that’s that. I guess we are all fond of our own chili the most. (It is kind of like being fond of your own farts the most…also a topic closely linked to chili. Hopefully unlike your own farts though, other people can indeed appreciate your chili).
So when I watched a cooking show where some odd and interesting spices were introduced to good ol’ chili, I had to try it, with a skeptical Kelly lingering over my shoulder.
“Cocoa?! You’re going to put cocoa in chili?” he exclaimed in horror. After a quick and curt lesson in the savory properties of cocoa, Kelly stormed out of the kitchen and I finished my preparations.
When the chili was tried and tested in the company of good (and honest) friends, the results were favourable. Even Kelly, who wanted to dislike it right from the start, couldn’t come up with anything other than “mshsmmsmsmshshmmmm” as he devoured the bowl.
Success! Here’s the chili recipe, with an unlikely set of ingredients that may raise a few eyebrows, but which passed the critical taste test:
2 onions, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1lb ground beef
3 sausages (Italian is best)
2 tsp chili flakes
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
3 cardamom pods, crushed
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 green pepper (“capsicum” in Australia), cut into chunks
1 small zucchini, diced
1 large can of diced or whole tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
½ can water
¼ cup tomato paste
In a large pot, fry the onions, celery, and garlic until transparent. Add the beef and sausages and brown. Add all the spices and mix well. Add remainder of ingredients and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for a few hours if you can, until thick and delicious.