Chilli Con Carne

In the hope that it would clear my sinuses if I loaded it up with enough sambal to blow the back of my head off, I made chilli con carne this evening. Everyone has their own favourite chilli recipe, but I thought I’d share mine.

Ingredients (serves 4, with 1 bowl each)

  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée or tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 lb ground beef or pork
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin kidney beans


Chop or crush the garlic, and chop the onion. Fry them up in a large pan with some oil. Add the ground meat, and cook it thoroughly. Once it is nicely browned, sprinkle over the cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper, and stir until they’re mixed in evenly. Add the kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, and cocoa powder, and then allow the mixture to simmer for as long as you like, stirring occasionally. I like giving it at least an hour for the flavours to blend.

Once it’s done, I recommend serving it with warmed up, or freshly baked french bread. I also recommend using Indonesian sambal oelek to spice up your own portion when it hits your bowl. (The main recipe is relatively mild.) Sambal is pretty much pure ground chillies, so it adds a good amount of heat without any extraneous flavours of its own.

Unfortunately, this still wasn’t enough to clear my sinuses.