The key to a really good vegetarian chili is keeping a unified and thick consistency, which we achieve with the use of both quinoa (a super nutritious seed, containing all 9 essential amino acids that make up a complete protein) AND by finishing it with a blend of masa ( a powdery flour made from nixtamalized ground corn. The process of nixtamalization gives masa harina a savory flavor that you won't find with cornmeal) simply mixed with a little bit of water. Feel free to make this recipe your own by adding a diced red pepper, celery or even a finely diced sweet potato!
1 large cooking onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped (these pack a hot punch, add less to start if you like!)
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 cups tomato puree
1/2 cup quinoa
4 cups stock or water
1 can of good quality black beans (do not drain)
1/4 cup instant corn masa flour
1 cup frozen corn
oil, as needed
salt, as needed
- Heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat.
- Add 3 tbsp. of oil, followed by the onion. Sprinkle with salt and cook until they just begin to brown.
- Add in jalapeno and chipotle. Saute for 1-2 minutes, then stir in chili powder. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in tomato puree, quinoa and stock or water. Bring up to a high simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.
- Spoon in black beans, bringing in some of the flavourful aquafaba with the beans. Taste the aquafaba (the bean liquid). If it is too salty, don't add it all, rinse remaining beans and stir in.
- Blend masa with about 1/4 cup of water and stir in.
- Stir in corn, and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Taste for seasoning and serve, garnished with cheese, sour cream and cilantro, or whatever Mexican toppings you like!