A rare situation

Chris’s Indian Chili

without comments

In the beginning of March my company hosted a chili cook-off for charity. I figured that it was a good cause (anti-cancer), so I might as well enter. There was only this one little problem…I’d never cooked chili in my life. Also I do not own a slow cooker. Whoops.

Even though I don’t know the first thing about chili, Courtney and I do know some things about cooking in general. We adapted a loose-meat sandwich recipe from 660 Curries into a concotion that I called “Chris’s Indian Chili” (thank god it wasn’t a creative writing-off). My entry didn’t win but nearly everyone who tasted it complimented me on it. Several people asked for the recipe and at long last here it is:

Chris’s Indian Chili (serves 2)


  • 12 oz ground beef (we used 93% lean)
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 lengthwise slices of fresh ginger, about 2″ by 1″ by 1/8″, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh green chilis, finely chopped (we used serrano and kept the seeds in)
  • 3 tbl tomato paste
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • 3 tbl cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbl canola oil
  • 3/4 c water
  • Freshly chopped scallions for garnish


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and roast for 10-15 seconds. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and chiles; stir-fry for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste, garam masala, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and heat, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef and cilantro, cook 5-10 minutes.
  4. Stir in water and tomatoes (with the juice from the can), cover and simmer for one hour.
  5. Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes. Garnish with scallions and enjoy.

Right now you may be saying to your computer in the ever-present hope that I’ll hear you: “Chris, I think a chili recipe that serves two would make for a fine dinner, but a cookoff? How much more would a person have to make?” Six times more. Six. Twelve chilis, six cans of tomatos, four and a half pounds of beef. Take my word for it this was a sight to behold.

Oh wait you don’t have to take my word for it

All of the veggies and spices that go into a whole ton of chili

This is the biggest stock pot I have and it was still too small by a little bit


[half of] the end result

Written by Chris

April 30th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Posted in Cooking,General

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