Who said chocolate can’t be savoury? Chocolate is a starring ingredient in a lot of Mexican cooking and it helps to add some extra intensity and depth. Chilli Con Carne is one of those recipes that everyone does in their own way, and here’s mine if you fancy trying something different next time you make this crowd pleaser.


For 6 people:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 500g of minced beef – I used around 15-20% fat
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 tin of kidney beans
  • 1 green pepper, chopped into chunks
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 40g of ginger, chilli flakes and hemp seed
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of marmite (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • To garnish:
    • 1 lime
    • 1 fresh chilli – finely sliced
    • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
    • Sour cream


  1. Heat a heavy wide based pan on a medium heat, add a glug of oil and when hot, add the onion. Fry until soft and golden brown, then add the garlic.
  2. Add the minced beef and cook until brown, add all the spices including the fresh chilli and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the chocolate and allow to melt in, stirring throughout the chocolate.
  3. Now add both tins of tomatoes, puree and salt and pepper, turn to a simmer.
  4. After about 15 minutes add the kidney beans and green pepper so it still retains some bite. Simmer for a further 15 minutes. The sauce should be thicker, rich and dark.
  5. Taste to adjust seasoning of spices and add marmite if wanted.
  6. Serve the chilli with tortilla chips, rice or in a wrap with the garnishes, a crunchy salad and some homemade guacamole if desired.