Indian Inspired Chili

It seems wrong to put two chilis so close, but this one should taste pretty different. At a family gathering a while ago, I tried out this Indian-inspired chili on my Ohio relatives. My family thought it was way too hot, so I tamed it down, blended it with more familiar Cincinnati-style chili ingredients and it was a lot more popular. So this is sweet, but spicy. You can always kick it up a bit by adding more emphasis on the spicy elements.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 medium onions, diced small
  • 2 inches minced ginger root (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
  • 4 cardamom pods (Indian food aisle or spice aisle)
  • 2 in cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp chili powder (cayenne if you're braver, paprika if not)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala (Indian food aisle or spice aisle)
  • 1 tsp coriander (Indian food aisle or spice aisle)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 32 oz diced tomato
  • 32 oz kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 32 oz tomato puree
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • pasta or rice as a base
  • shredded cheddar (to top)
  • diced sweet onion (to top)
  1. Warm the oil in a large pot. Then sautee the first five non-powder spices. Stir them occasionally until the onions look clear.
  2. Stir in all the powdered spices so the onions are nicely coated and cook for another minute or two.
  3. Stir in the ground meat and brown it with the spices.
  4. Once the meat is thoroughly browned, add in the tomatoes, beans and brown sugar. I ditch the bean fluids and keep the tomato fluids.
  5. Simmer your chili until it is as thick as you like.
  6. Especially when you're serving to folks unfamiliar with Indian spices, remove the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods before serving. They won't kill you, but aren't a fun texture when you bite them unawares.

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