Saturday, July 13, 2024

In The Kitchen With Kanta : Chilli con carne



Contrary to popular belief Chilli con carne or “Chilli”, as it’s called in America, does not actually originate from Mexico or South America, it is said to originate from Texas.  It is a spicy stew containing chilli peppers, meat (usually beef), tomatoes, beans and seasoning.  You can make it with actual chillies or with chilli powder.  It is absolutely delicious and relatively easy to make.  It’s one of those dishes that can be eaten by the whole family; grandparents, parents and children.  You can adjust the amount of chilli that you add to it, to suit your taste buds.

So what are you waiting for? Go on give it a try, I promise you’ll enjoy it.


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, sliced (you can also use green or yellow peppers)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp of hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 can of red kidney beans (410g)
  • Plain boiled rice, to serve


Prepare your vegetables.

Over a medium heat, put your pan on the hob and heat your oil for 1-2 minutes, until hot.  Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, red pepper, chilli powder, paprika and cumin; stir well, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Increase the heat, add the meat to the pan and break it up with your cooking stick. Stir for about 5 minutes, and fry until all the mince is a similar size and completely brown.

Mix your beef stock cube into 300ml hot water and pour it into the mince mixture. Add the can of chopped tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper; then add 2 tbsps of tomato purée and stir the sauce well.  Simmer it gently, bring it to the boil, stir well and put a lid on the pan.

Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes; making sure that you check on the pan occasionally and stir it.  If the sauce is drying add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure that the heat is low enough. After simmering gently, the sauce and mince mixture should look nice and thick.

Using a sieve, drain and rinse the red kidney beans and stir them into the chilli pot. Bring to the boil for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry. Taste a bit of the chilli and season it accordingly.

Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Leaving your chilli to stand is really important as it allows the flavours to set.


There are numerous ways to serve your Chilli, but I suggest that you serve it with plain boiled rice.

Kanta Temba is a cake maker and decorator. She is also the owner and founder of Kanta Kakes – cake shop.

You can find her work on www.kantakakes.comFollow her on twitter @KantaKakes and Instagram @KantaTemba.

Baking with Kanta - IMG


    • Campaigning on an empty stomach ensures your message is incoherent, unconvincing and decidedly drab!
      So go on mate, make your ‘Chilli con carne’ and eat it…

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