Chilli con Cashew

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots cut into matchsticks
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 large pepper cut in short strips
  • 1 courgette, chopped OR 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 500g passata plus 2-3 fresh tomatoes, chopped ( OR 1 tin chopped tomatoes)
  • 70g tomato puree
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 100g cashews
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2/3 tsp ground cumin 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon malt vinegar . tsp salt
  • Optional: 1 bay leaf and 1 tsp mixed herbs



In a large pot fry onion, garlic and celery over a medium heat with cumin seeds and fennel seeds in oil: 2-3 minutes

Stir in pepper strips and carrots, turn heat to low, put a lid on pot and sweat vegetable mix for 15 mins.

Add bay leaf, cumin and chilli powder.

Stir in tomato puree. Add passata and/or tomatoes.

Add kidney beans and cashews.

Add sugar, vinegar and salt. Simmer for 30 minutes

Add courgettes or mushrooms and cook 10-15 minutes longer.


Serve chilli over rice or a baked potato. Try topping it with a dollop of Greek-style yoghurt and/or chopped coriander leaves. The yoghurt mellows the spicy flavour but adds to the carbon footprint

There are several versions of this recipe available online. This is my sister’s adaptation and was a favourite vegetarian option with the guests when she used to cook for Soul Food Saturday meals at Ps & Gs Episcopal church.

Number of portions: 4 (recipe can easily be multiplied to feed a larger group)

Why is it eco-friendly?

Chilli is traditionally made with minced beef. This dish is full of flavour, nutritious vegetables and the cashews to provide protein and extra texture. You will enjoy a satisfying dinner and not miss the meat.

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