This is not your average chili. It is dark and sultry with rich and complex smoky notes that place it somewhere between chili and a Mexican mole. But unlike a mole with it's 30+ ingredients, this chili gets its deep, rich flavor without the fuss. Although please do make the (small) effort to prepare the toppings! No good chili is complete without them.
I've been making versions of this chili for years and I finally got around to measuring so I could share the recipe with you. Sometimes I make it with black beans, other times I'll use adzuki beans. And I always serve it either over brown rice or with cornbread on the side. But either way, it's a must-have in our winter recipe rotation, and if you give it a try I bet it will become one of yours too.
Black Bean Mole Chili with Sweet Potatoes
- Large knob of ghee
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Chili Spice Mix (recipe below)
- 1 chipotle chili + 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup/118 ml tomatillo salsa (or 1 cup/235 ml dark beer)
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
- 2 1/2 cups (600 ml) water
- 3 cups/508 gr cooked black beans* (or 2-15 oz cans)
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut in bite size pieces
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- Cheddar cheese
- Raw onion, finely diced
- Lime wedges
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup pot, melt ghee over medium heat. Add onion and cook for a few minutes, until beginning to soften. Add garlic and spice mix and stir to combine. Cook a few minutes until fragrant. If pan looks dry add a few splashes of water and stir to pick up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in tomato paste and cocoa powder to form a thick paste. Add tomatillo salsa (or beer), tomatoes, and salt. (If using beer, let simmer and reduce for 1 minute before adding tomatoes). At this point you should have a very dark and rich looking gravy.
- Add sweet potatoes and water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add black beans and yellow bell pepper, cover and cook another 10-15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.
- Ladle into bowls over rice or with a side of cornbread and finish with toppings of choice.
*Looking to change things up? Swap out black beans with adzuki beans. They are a small red bean originating from China, similar in size and taste to black beans, and easier to digest than other varieties (but make sure to soak them properly before cooking!).
Chili Spice Mix
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 3 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. oregano
- Mix spices together in a small bowl and set aside.