grundy’s hodge-podge chilli

3 Nov

(Here’s a guest post from Matthew Grundy, Emmms’s partner and one half of The Woe Betides. Emmms would have written the recipe up herself, but kept getting ‘corrected’, so turned the keyboard over the Matthew to tell the real story of how this chilli came into being. The Woebies will be releasing their first EP, ‘Play Dead’, in January.)

Emmms woke up yesterday morning and announced she wanted me to make a chilli for dinner. Not one to shy from a challenge I agreed. I literally had NO IDEA what I was doing, but after a brief glance at The Joy of Cooking‘s recipe for Chilli con Carne, I decided I knew better and set forth to maverick a spicy delight. Turns out I do know better. Screw you, Joy of Cooking! As this was to be essentially Chilli con Carne minus the Carne, I decided textured vegetable protein, or TVP, was the natural alternative. Unfortunately, the supermarket was all out of our usual dehydrated TVP. Emmms suggested scrambling some tofu, but in my stomach’s eye I divined this to be a folly. Only TVP would give it the desired texture, whereas tofu would be too mushy. So I hiked down to a second supermarket and found a bag of ‘hydrated’ TVP in the freezer section. Turns out I know better about this, too. Screw you, Emmms!

It ought to be noted that the ingredients listed were teased from me first thing in the morning, so accuracy is not guaranteed (or, in fact, recommended). Also, the recipe in The Joy called for about 6 cups of stock, but we wanted a heartier meal. Despite using just 2 cups, we still have enough left over to feed us for a week.


1 large onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 red chillis, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2/3 bag of soya mince (TVP)
1 tsp.  cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2/3 c. dried haricot beans, rehydrated
2/3 c. dried kidney beans, rehydrated
2 c. vegetable stock
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar


In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, soften the onion, garlic and chillis for a couple of minutes in olive oil. Add peppers and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the tin of tomatoes. Stir in soya mince and cook for about a minute. Add the spices and let infuse for about 3 minutes before stirring in the beans and stock. Lastly, add the balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Then reduce heat and let simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. The longer you can leave it to simmer the better, as it’ll let the flavours really come together.

Serve with rice and chunks of crusty bread (clearly a favourite around here).


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