Warming, Vegan Chilli con Cashew

chilli con cashew

Cold grey January days call for comforting food just like this.

Warming, nutritious and delicious, this vegan chilli is so satisfying, plus it freezes well and is super versatile – you can pretty much add any veggies you happen to have in the fridge that need using up. I like to have this with cauliflower rice and avocado, but it is also yummy with a nice crunchy green salad or brown basmati rice.

Please feel free to experiment with this recipe according to how you like your chilli to taste, I do think the sweet potato is important though as it adds a really good depth and sweetness. Yummy! This recipe makes a medium hot version.

Ingredients – Serves 3 

1 tblsp coconut oil 

1 medium red onion thinly sliced 

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

3 cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 small chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

approx 10 mushrooms 

1 red pepper, roughly chopped

1 large carrot, grated

1 tin tomatoes 

1 heaped tblsp tomato puree 

1/2 tsp each of turmeric, paprika, ground coriander & ground cumin

1 tsp cacao powder 

Salt & Pepper to taste 

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-2 cm cubes 

sprinkling of cinnamon

1 tblsp rapeseed / olive oil

3 handfuls of cashew nuts 

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and place the sweet potatoes in a roasting tray and drizzle with the rapeseed/olive oil and the cinnamon. Roast for around 25 minutes until cooked and golden, while you make the chilli. Once cooked, set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion. Turn the heat down and sweat with the lid on for 5-10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, chilli, ginger, and the spices and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until fragrant.

Drop in the tomato puree, allowing it to sizzle for a minute or two before adding the tin of tomatoes, pepper, carrot, mushrooms and cacao powder, salt and pepper. Add a splash of hot water if the mixture looks a little thick.

Allow the chilli to simmer with the lid on over a low heat for at least 45 minutes – 1 hour. Taste for seasoning then simmer with the lid off for another 20 minutes until the sauce is thick and rich. Once you take the lid off to reduce the sauce, place the cashew nuts on a roasting tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, shaking half way through to turn the nuts.

When you are ready to eat the chilli, add the nuts and sweet potato and combine, reserving a few cashews to sprinkle on the top. I like to add the nuts at the last minute so that they remain really crunchy. If you add them too far ahead, they will be soft (which is also quite nice and ‘meaty’ but the crunch is a really good addition to the textures).

Sprinkle and dollop with all manner of goodies such as chopped coriander, spring onions, coconut yogurt, guacamole, chilli…