For Mum: Feed a Crowd Might-be-Vegan, is-definitely-Veggie Chilli

I’ve had this recipe knocking about for years.  Its a slightly pimped up version of Jack Monroe’s Mumma Jack’s Chilli.  (And if you haven’t come across Jack, firstly – where have you been? And secondly, go and check them out at

A couple of years ago my (almost) entire family, or as we like to call ourselves Team Tulloch, went to a remote(ish) Scottish island for a week. Grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, an unborn nephew, THE LOT.  We had only been married a few months and I’m not sure my husband was aware of the full extent of the crazy he had married into.  Until then.  Bless him.

So there were a lot of us. 17 I think.  Plus my cousin Kirsty and her husband Ali who were there in spirit, but didn’t actually need feeding.  Which is a lot of people to feed. There was some sort of system and I can’t fully remember the details, but I do remember the youngest members of the family being employed as some sort of slave labour to do the washing up every night, so it wasn’t all bad.

ANYWAY. Enough about my crazy family. Andy and I made THIS. And everyone loved it (except Auntie Linda but she doesn’t like beans or spice and that isn’t her fault). It’s very low effort really, super cheap, pretty healthy and dairy and gluten free as long as you check your stock cube and chocolate ingredients.  One member of the family even mentioned that they hadn’t even noticed the presence of meat! High praise indeed! Mum has been asking me for the recipe every since, here it is mum, especially for you.

The recipe is for four people, but it scales up to easily feed 20 as long as you have big enough pans.


Chilli - edited

For four

One large sweet potato
Olive oil
Ground Cumin
Ground Cinnamon
Smoked Paprika
Chilli flakes
One large onion
One red chilli
Two cloves of garlic
One small glass of red wine (or a mug of well steeped, black tea*)
One tablespoon tomato puree
One can chopped tomatoes
One veg stock cube or two tsps bullion powder
One tin baked beans
One tin red kidney beans
One small tin of sweetcorn or a handful of frozen
Salt and pepper
3 squares of dark chocolate

*The tannin in tea is supposed to be a good alternative to wine.  I’ve never tried it, but it seems a weird thing for people to lie about? Use with caution.
1) Preheat the oven to 180’C.
2) Chop your sweet potato into roughly 1cm chunks.  I tend not to peel. Up to you.
3) In a mixing bowl mix 2 tablespoons of oil with: 1tsp cumin, 1tsp coriander, 1tsp smoked paprika, 1/2tsp cinnamon, a pinch of salt and 1tsp chilli flakes. Add the sweet potato to the bowl, swirl it all around then tip the sweet potato onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25 mins.  Turn halfway through.
4) Open your tins of baked bins and kidney beans. Chuck in a colander or sieve and rinse under cold water. (Yes you are rinsing off all the baked bean sauce.  It’s fine. Get a grip).  Put the beans in a pan and cover with cold water.  Cover with a lid and then pop on the hob.  Bring to a gentle simmer for about 5 mins.
5) Heat a tablespoon of oil very gently in a frying pan or wok.  Finely chop the onion and chilli and add to the pan.  Gently gently saute until the onions are soft. DON’T RUSH YOUR ONIONS.
6) Once soft, add a tsp each of ground cumin and smoked paprika to the onions and cook on a low heat for about a minute.  Try not to let it burn.
7) Add the tablespoon of tomato puree and mix it all around the onions and chilli.  Add a crushed clove of garlic at this stage too.  Cook gently, stirring, for about two minutes.
8) Add your small glass of red wine.  Turn the heat up so it all bubbles. Then add the tin of chopped tomatoes, half a can of water and the stock cube. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer.
9) By now, your beans should have softened and your sweet potato should be cooked.  Drain the beans and tip them into the onion and tomatoes.  Add the baked sweet potato.
10) Leave to simmer for about 10 mins or up to 25 mins.  You want the sauce to be quite thick and luxurious, but try not to let it catch.
11) Add the sweetcorn about 5 minutes before you intend to serve so that it is cooked through, but doesn’t get too soggy.
12) Finally add your dark chocolate and stir through.

Its entirely up to you what to serve it with. Keep it strictly vegan just with rice or over a jacket potato.  Add sour cream, or cheese. Cover it with jalapenos if you like it super spicy.  Knock up some guacamole.  Or some nibbly nachos.  Or just eat straight out the pan.  I won’t tell anyone.


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