Chilli con Carne

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* 2, 3 or 4 (depending on how hot you like it!) chilli peppers, deseeded and chopped
* 500g minced beef
* 450g tin of chopped tomatos
* 450g tin of red kidney beans or mixed beans, drained
* 1 green pepper, chopped
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1 or 2 sticks of celery, chopped (optional)
* small handful of coursely chopped corriander
* Mexican spices
* gravy powder or cornflour
* oil

Spice Blend

OK — I have decided to reveal my tried-and-tested cajan/mexican spice blend exclusively on my website. You might want to make a big batch of this blend in advance. The quantities shown below will make too much spice blend for a normal sized batch of chilli!

Level one spices — use about three teaspoons of each:

cumin (seeds, toasted and roughly crushed; or powder)
chilli (dried flakes, or powder)
oregano (dried)

Level two spices — include about two teaspoons of each of these if you have them:

corriander (crushed seeds and/or dried leaves)
garlic (dried powder, or crushed)
ginger (dried powder, or crushed)
unsweetended cocoa powder

Level three spices — include about one teaspoon of each of these if you have them:

ground allspice
mustard seeds (dried)
black pepper
parsley (dried)

Bash those all together roughly in a pestle and mortar to create the spice blend.

If you are using any non-dry ingredients, to increase the shelf-life of the blend add plenty of sunflower oil and refridgerate. It should keep a couple of weeks.

h1. Method

Fry the chilli, onion, capsicum, celery and spices until the onion is transparent. Add beef and cook until brown, stirring occasionally. Add the kidney beans and tomatos. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Thicken with gravy powder and simmer for a further 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve with rice and/or tortilla chips. Garnish with corriander leaves.