Some like it hot!

As the thermostat goes down, the craving  for hot food goes up. Chili, curries and peppers of all sorts give the taste buds a run for their money and get the body heat soaring. February, the time of the biggest deep freeze, demands heat and spice in cooking. Here, then, are three recipes for those who like it hot. Let it snow!

Three Bean Chili
You can leave this as a vegetarian dish, or include a pound of sautéed ground chicken or beef. Serve this aromatic chile over brown rice topped with a dollop of plain yogurt.
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
1 lb (500 g) lean ground chicken or beef (optional)
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) oregano
1 can (diced 28 oz/796 mL ) diced tomatoes
3 cans assorted beans of your choice: chickpeas, romano beans, white navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 sweet green pepper, chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL)    cider vinegar
1/2 tsp (2mL) salt, cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground black pepper
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh coriander
In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic, covered for five minutes or until softened. Stir in ground chicken or beef if using. Brown. Stir in chili, cumin and oregano; cook stirring for two minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice. Add assorted beans, green pepper, vinegar, salt, cinnamon and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 20 minutes. Just before serving, stir in coriander or parsley. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve a generous spoonful of chile over brown rice accompanied by a bowl of natural yogurt. Chili can be covered and refrigerated for up to two days, but for longer storage, store in plastic containers or freeze for up to one month.

Sweet Apple Curry
An every day curry which can be made with pork, chicken or lamb. You can turn it into a party dish simply by serving it with bowls of condiments such as: cashews, plain yogurt, chutney and toasted coconut. Serve the curry with a bowl of basmati rice and warmed naan bread.
1/4 cup (50 mL) vegetable oil
2 cups (500 mL) chopped onions
2 tbsp (25 mL) grated fresh ginger root
1 tbsp (15 mL) curry powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 lbs (1 Kg) pork butter boneless lamb or chicken thighs cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
3-4 cups (1 L) tomato juice
2 cups (500 mL) peeled sliced apples
1 cup (250 mL) raisins
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, ginger, curry, garlic and cayenne; cook for 10 minutes or until onions are softened. Stir in pork, lamb or chicken; cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until browned. Stir in 3 cups (750 mL) tomato juice. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer covered for 30 minutes. Stir in apples and raisins; simmer another 20 minutes or until meat is tender. Add extra tomato juice if sauce becomes too thick. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to re-heat. Makes six to eight servings.

Curried Chickpeas
A hearty vegetarian dish, this is delectable served over basmati rice with a spoonful of yogurt. It makes a great lunch the next day.
2 tbsp (25 ml) vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh ginger root
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1 tbsp (15 mL)  cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh coriander or parsley
In large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Stir in onions; cook stirring about five minutes or until onions are softened. Stir in garlic, fresh ginger root, cumin, coriander, salt and cinnamon. Cook two minutes. Sprinkle with coriander and serve or cover and refrigerate to re-heat and serve the next day. Makes four to six servings.

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The “Three Bean Chili” recipe tells me to”cook onion and garlic”. What onion? There is no onion in the list of ingredients.

In your Curried Chickpeas recipe, how long do you cook it after adding the tomatoes, chickpeas and vinegar?

To add to Pat Abels’ question, the recipe doesn’t even tell us to add the tomatoes, chick peas and vinegar. So—do we add them, and assuming the answer is yes, how long are we to cook them?

Four weeks have crawled by since Pat Abels’ question, nine days since mine. I say it’s time for a reply in my case, and the first reply is long overdue.

Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and vinegar or lemon juice after cooking the spices for two minutes, reduce heat. Simmer 15-20 minutes, then serve with rice and a dollop of yogurt.

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