I grew up with this simple yet delicious dish. My mum who worked full-time would make this periodically because it was easy to make and usually we got more than one meal from it. Her recipe was simple and not much fuss, but the key was fresh spices. If your chili powder is old or not of good quality to begin with, you’ll never end up with a decent pot of chili. If the house didn’t smell like mouth-watering fragrances while it was cooking, then it wasn’t done right. Pretty simple!
I know that N. America makes a big deal about chili, with all sorts of contests on the biggest flavour and especially how spicy it is. However, we didn’t like food that left you reeling in pain days later. We didn’t like a meal that lacked flavour because there wasn’t enough spice added. Nor did we like a chili that was so hot you couldn’t taste anything because your mouth was on fire. So the balance of heat, flavour, and edibleness was key.
Simple suggestion for all spices; buy them in small quantities, buy them often. I like the Bulk Barn because I can taste a little spice before I buy it. I found one chili that’s a little more expensive than the others but its value was evident in its heat. It was a deep red, very fragrant, and only tasting a touch on your finger and you could feel the heat. An excellent grade of chili powder. This means I only need 1 tbsp for a large pot of medium heat chili.
Today I make chili often and my family really loves the flavours. I don’t make it too spicy and recently began adding smoked paprika for a different unique taste. It’s optional of course, but you might want to try it some time to give your chili a distinct taste. Adjust the cumin, sugar, cinnamon, salt as needed. The age and quality of your spices will depend on how much you need to add.
Truly this dish is best served the following day, but it’s also pretty good the same day. Top with your favourite toppings, if you like, such as a sharp cheese, corn chips, salsa, cilantro etc. Enjoy!!!