I’ve been having a tug of war of sorts with chilies for a while now. My objective has been to establish the amount of - respectively - fresh, dried, green, red, large or small chilies that will create the degree of hotness I want. Their objective has been to either lay dormant and pretend they are sweet peppers, or burn me alive.
I am by no means an expert on or a connoisseur of chillies – proof readily surmised from the fact I never know if the little buggers should be spelled with one or two ‘l’s. I don’t know my habaneros from my chipotles or scotch bonnets from aleppos. I’ve heard of jolokia only through the Fugu Jolokia Challenge*. I carelessly rub my nose after handling chilies. I simply score zero Scovilles.
A small battle was won with this vegetarian chili though – and at least I know for sure that the dish has only one ‘l’. I managed to hit the right balance: a nice kick but not gasping for water. The recipe is dead simple beside that, and a good weekday supper if you put in canned beans. Soaking and boiling is as much worth the bother as it gives you the right cookedness – tinned beans might get mushy after half an hour in the company of tomatoes.
The NY Times Cooking recipe originally but frankly, a no brainer. Beans and tomatoes – and the only issue is figuring out how much chillies to throw in.
*Fugu Jolokia Challenge as appears in Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4. It was what people did before World of Warcraft.