September 27, 2006
Three Pepper Turkey Chili
Fall is slowly creeping in here, lurking in the cooler temperatures in the mornings, sending the sun skittering back home earlier every day. My garden is looking forlorn, with some plants yellowing and giving in to the frost, while some are holding on, but with fatigue in their branches. The last storm was the turning point. They got so damaged; I could taste it in my bland new crop of vegetables. Not long before I will have to pull them all out.
And I have started on my “hot food” fetish. Hot as in spicy and hot as in hot. I was craving chili, a taste acquired from my colleagues and now made at home too.
Chili/Chilli is essentially a spicy soupy stew of beans(sometimes), chilies and meat cooked together. An easy recipe for the meat lovers, it is full of protein and vitamins, and it varies in taste from region to region in southern US. There is even a vegetarian version of this with tofu substituting for meat.
My first brush with chili was with a lot of trepidation, thinking it is some overly spicy concoction. It was not spicy and I was surprised when I tasted Kidney Beans ( good old rajma). “Arre, this is our rajma curry with meat in it.” But it was not just Rajma. When Kidney beans are mixed with bell peppers and celery and tomatoes, they take on a different set of flavors.
As time went by, I tasted chilis of different types and mixes and realized that the ones served in the North East are not spicy but if you travel south, closer to its Mexican roots, it starts getting hotter and has less beans. The names they go by are as interesting as their recipes-2 Alarm Chili, Texas Two Finger Chili, and Four Dead in O-hi-O Chili, Male Chauvinist Chili, Heaven and Hell Chili.
My turkey chili is a take off from different chili recipes, tried and customized to include more veggies and flavor. This time I substituted turkey for the beef, in an effort to cut down on red meat intake. We could hardly make out the difference in taste. It has three peppers in it hence the name. :) Bell Peppers, Green Chilies Peppers and Dried Black Peppers.
You will need:
Ground Turkey/ Beef/Chicken-3/4 lb
Red Kidney beans-1 ½ cup cooked
Onion-1 ½ cup chopped finely
Carrots-1 cup chopped finely
Celery-1/2 cup chopped
Any Bell Pepper(Red/green/yellow/orange)- 1 cup chopped.
Green Chilies/Any hot chili-6-8 crushed
Tomato-about 1lb(4 medium tomatoes)or 1 1/2 can stewed tomatoes.
Coriander/Cilantro leaves-1/2 cup chopped
Milk - 1/4 cup( optional)
Salt-1/2 tsp (to taste)
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground oregano
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
1 dried chili pepper, crushed, seeds removed
Dry grind them all together.
If using dry kidney beans, soak overnight and cook in the pressure cooker for 5-10 minutes. Else, you can use canned kidney beans after rinsing it once. Add more or less kidney beans than specified depending on how meaty you like the chili to be. This is a good recipe for the crockpot for those who have it. Mix everything together, leave it cooking in the crockpot, go out and come back to a delicious chili.
Cook ground turkey or beef in a large pot, add onion, celery and stir until onions are transparent. No need for oil. The oil from the meat cooks and flavors the onions. Then add the rest of the ingredients except the milk and leaves, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Open and add milk, coriander leaves and check seasoning. Top with some cheese and chopped cilantro/Coriander.
Serve with corn bread or rice or rotis/tortillas.
Spicy Chili Recipes, Turkey Chili, South Beach Recipes