Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lamb Chilli with Pumpkin and Kidney Beans

 Chili Con Carne - the classic stew with Mexican origins but now known more as a part of Tex-Mex cuisine - has long fascinated me. The flavours of the various chillies that are used in it and the method of slow cooking the meat in a rich gravy always made me wonder how it would taste. I still don't know what the real deal is - BUT I can say that I have made my own version of it and it was much appreciated!

There were a couple of substitutions involved of course - not having access to the different kind of peppers or spice powders - habanero, poblano, chipotle etc - I had to come up with a spice mix of my own which I did after consulting a few recipes for chili spice mixes, online. I also substituted beef mince with goat's meat mince - what we call mutton in India. And instead of a crockpot, I simmered it for a couple of hours in my rice cooker.

I served it with some French bread and Spaghetti Aglio e Olio and by the end of the dinner with friends, there wasn't much left over. There's something about a slow cooked stew which has had time for the flavours to come together (I made it the previous day) which makes for a great meal - especially one shared with dear friends.

 Lamb Chili with Pumpkin and Kidney Beans  
(adapted from this recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen)
Mutton Mince (I used goat's meat, you can use lamb) - 750gms
Rajma (kidney beans) - 1 cup soaked overnight and cooked in a pressur cooker
Pumpkin - 350 gms chopped
Bell peppers - 2
Garlic - 3-4 cloves
Onions -2 diced
Green chillies - 3 chopped
Tomatoes - 6 chopped
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Chili spice mix (store bought or see below for homemade) - 1 tbsp
Beef stock cube (or chicken stock cube) - 2 cubes dissolved in 1 litre water

Spice Mix
Red chillies - 5
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
black pepper - 1 tsp

Roast and grind to a fine powder and mix with

dried thyme - 1 tsp
dried oregano - 1 tsp
onion powder - 1 tsp
garlic powder - 1 tsp

Run through the blender one more time

1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pressure pan or pressure cooker and saute the mince in it for about 8-10 minutes till browned. Remove and keep aside.
2. In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil and saute the onions and the bell peppers for 3 minutes, then add the garlic, chili powder, cumin powder, chili spice mix and saute for a couple of minutes more. Add the tomatoes and pumpkin pieces and saute for 3 minutes till soft.
3. Add the beef stock and salt and bring to a boil, close the pressure pan and cook for 2 whistles on high and then lower flame and cook for 5 minutes.
4. When cool enough, release pressure, open cooker and add the cooked kidney beans - mash about half a cup of the cooked kidney beans. Check seasoning and pour into a rice cooker.
5. Switch on the rice cooker and making sure there is enough liquid, cook for 90 minutes to 2 hours till the stew reduces to a thick consistency.  Stir occasionally and check for the seasoning adding cumin powder or spice powder or chili powder depending on the overall taste. (Alternatively, you can cook the dish on the stove top in a heavy bottomed vessel for about an hour)
6. Serve (preferably after keeping overnight in the fridge) with coarse bread or rice. (I served it with Spaghetti Aglio e Olio - a simple spaghetti dish tossed with olive oil, garlic and chilli flakes garnished with cheese - I also added some bacon)


Gluten Free said...

WOW ! this is delicious recipe , Lamb chilli with pumpkin and kidney beans is the amazing recipe. I love it...........
Gluten Free Recipes

Priya said...

Incredible and filling lamb chilli to enjoy without any hesitation for this chilled weather..

Cham said...

Though we have access of those variety of spice, I prefer the hot chilli powder, cumin is the must!
Minced lamb in chilli should be a satisfying meal!

Sayantani said...

my fav too but I cook with mushrooms. this spice powder is new to me. I generally add them individually. will try your version.

indosungod said...

It is a delicious stew for a cold night. I missed your anniversary post. Congratulations!

We get some good quality lamb here and I am going to give this a try soon.

The knife said...

Mom used to occasionally put mutton into rajam I think...before mutton became a bad word in our house

nina said...

looks very good - have to think of a veggie version :)

Miri said...

Nina, search for chili sin carne (without meat) recipes- you can use mushrooms/ potato or a combination of veggies like corn, beans, pumpkin, carrots etc and then of course there's tofu.