I know the title seems somewhat bizarre, but the slight "hint" of semi-sweet chocolate gives this vegetarian chili a real depth of flavor. It reminds me somewhat of a sweet, yet spicy mole sauce. This recipe was adapted from one I found in the "Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates" cookbook.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped onions
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 1 -2 jalapeno chile, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped bell peppers (red and green are nice)
- 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (optional)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 1⁄2 ounces semisweet chocolate (about 1/4 cup)
- vegan cheddar cheese or tofu sour cream or scallion, for serving
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions become soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the celery and chile, cover and cook for another five minutes more.
- Reduce the heat and stir in spices, (cumin, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, chili powder, black pepper, salt) along with the bell peppers. Cover again and cook for another five minutes. Stir often to keep the spices from burning. If the pan gets too dry add a little liquid from the diced tomatoes, or some water.
- Next, add the black beans, tomatoes, lime juice (if using) and soy sauce. Let the chili simmer on low for 5 to 10 minutes, until it thickens slightly and flavors combine.
- Stir in the chocolate. When chocolate has melted, taste to adjust the salt and pepper. Serve with topping of your choice. I like a bit of vegan cheese, sour "cream" and scallions.
- Chili can also makes a great filling to serve wrapped in flour tortillas, or in taco shells if you prefer.