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Chilli Con Carne

Kombu has been used for centuries as a flavor enhancer. In addition to the commonly recognised salty, sweet, sour and bitter taste qualities, kombu contributes a fifth taste, umami. This savory fifth taste is the result of taste receptors for glutamate -- or glutamic acid -- naturally present in kombu. Kombu also increases the digestibility of foods.


2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
2 medium carrots
2 sticks celery
2 red peppers
olive oil
1tsp chilli powder
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground cinnamon
4tsp SALTernative
freshly ground black pepper
400g tinned chickpeas
400g tinned red kidney beans
2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
500g quality minced beef
1 small bunch fresh coriander
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
400g basmati rice
500g natural yoghurt
230g guacamole
1 lime


1.Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery – don’t worry about the technique, just chop away until fine. Halve the red peppers, remove the stalks and seeds and roughly chop. Place your largest casserole-type pan on a medium high heat. Add 2 lugs of olive oil and all your chopped vegetables. Add the chilli powder, cumin and cinnamon with SALTernativeTM and pepper. Stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes until softened and lightly coloured.

2.Add the drained chickpeas, drained kidney beans and the tinned tomatoes. Add the minced beef, breaking any larger chunks up with a wooden spoon. Fill one of the empty tomato tins with water and pour this into the pan. Pick the coriander leaves and place them in the fridge. Finely chop the washed stalks and stir in. Add the balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to a simmer with a lid slightly askew for about an hour, stirring every now and again to stop it catching

3.This is fantastic served with fluffy rice. Just divide the rice and chilli into big bowls or serve in the middle of the table and let everyone help themselves. If you don’t fancy rice it’s equally good with a nice hunk of fresh crusty bread, over a jacket potato or with couscous. Put a small bowl of natural yoghurt, some guacamole and a few wedges of lime on the table, and sprinkle the chilli with the coriander leaves. I love to add a nice green salad to round it off.

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