There is nothing that I like better on a cold January night than a big bowl of chili. It’s hearty and warming and reminds you that a substantial meal does more than just fill the belly.
I got the idea for adding molasses to my chili from one of our Facebook friends who balances the extreme heat and spice of her chili recipe with molasses. I also have a family friend who makes his chili with molasses baked beans so there is a good dose of sweet with the heat.
You’ll see that the tangy sweetness of molasses pairs beautifully with tomatoes. It softens their tart acidity and adds flavour with just the right substance.
This recipe is vegetarian but works with ground beef or ground turkey as well. Just add a bit more broth or even another can of tomatoes if you find yours too thick. As well, feel free to mix up the beans. Kidney beans or a blend of beans makes for a great variation.
Black bean chili
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tsp cumin seeds (or 2 tsp ground cumin)
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 carrots, diced
- Cayanne pepper to taste
- 4 tsp oregano
- 1 28 oz can or 24 oz bottle of tomatoes (prepared tomato sauce will do)
- 1 cup broth or water
- 2 cups cooked black beans (about 1 ½ cans)
- 1 cup corn kernels
- ½ Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Grandma Fancy Molasses
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Juice and zest of ½ a lime
- In a big pot over medium heat saute the onions until soft.
- Add the garlic, spices, oregano and bay leaf and stir for a minute then add the carrots.
- Cover for 10 minutes, stirring a few times.
- Add corn, tomatoes, beans, broth and chipotle (if using) and let simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the vinegar and molasses. Thin with more broth if it’s too thick for your liking.
- Season with salt and decide if it needs more heat (cayenne) or sweet (molasses)
- Add the lime zest and juice and cilantro.
Serve with grated cheese and cornbread. Don’t forget to fish out the chipotle chili so nobody eats it whole.
Chili is adaptable so feel free to add any kind of beans or vegetables. Cubed sweet potato or squash are delicious too.