Vegetarian Chili with Cornmeal Dumplings

My friend Elizabeth from Florida posted this recipe in her own blog about two years ago while we were living in Denmark. I made it many, many times and it was greatly loved by our family – even Michael who at the time was leery of any dish that didn’t contain meat. It’s actually cold here today – 59 degrees! – so this is currently simmering on the stove for tonight.

Vegetarian Chili
Feeding the Healthy Vegetarian Family by Ken Haedrich

1/2 pound dried black beans
1/2 pound dried kidney beans
2 T ground cumin
1 1/2 T mild chili powder
1 T ground coriander
1/4 t cayenne
2 t unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 t salt, or more to taste
1/2 cup mild chopped green chilies
2 T tomato paste
1 T dried oregano
2 t dried basil
2 t sugar or honey
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Cover beans with water and boil, uncovered 2 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand 1 hour. Drain, then put back in a big pot with 3 qts fresh water. cook at a low boil, partly covered, about 45-60 minutes until tender. Don’t drain.

Mix cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Heat half the oil in a very large skillet, add onions and pepper and saute for 7 minutes. Add the rest of the oil, then stir in garlic and spice mixture. turn off heat.

Ladle some bean water into the pan, scraping off the gunk on the bottom. Then dump the whole skillet contents into the bean pot. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer partly covered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit one hour before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley.


1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper
1 egg white, beaten
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. cooking oil

Re-heat pot to boiling and reduce to simmer. Drop spoonfuls of dough into pot. Cover and cook for 30 minutes on reduced simmer. No peeking!



Filed under recipes

2 responses to “Vegetarian Chili with Cornmeal Dumplings

  1. julie

    Sounds delicious to me — the cocoa powder is a neat idea (my mom’s signature chili spice is cinnamon). If I could get Henry to eat beans without making horrible faces this would be straigh into the box. :) Nice pic, too.

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