Saturday, 28 May 2011

SOS Chilli non carne with carob and kasha

It has been a week of lateral thinking about food and cooking.  I watched a great documentary series on the telly called Recipe for Murder about Sydney housewives poisoning people with rat poison in the 1950s.  We watched an old episode of 30 Rock last night when Liz Lemon said that she used her oven to warm her jeans.  Then this morning Sylvia took a bite of a cake of caramel soap.  As for me, I have made chilli non carne with carob!

I have never been a fan of carob.  So when Ricki and Kim announced that carob was the theme for this month's Sweet or Savoury (SOS) event, I wasn't sure I would participate.  I wanted to.  It is the year anniversary of the event.  Then I discovered that Sylvia likes it.  So I bought a bag and now I must use it.

Sylvia loves the carob cookies that my neighbour makes.  I begged a copy of the recipe but it has eggs in it so it wasn't right for the event but stay tuned.  For the SOS challenge, I just couldn't face a sweet carob dish and decided there must be a savoury recipe where I could try it.  My internet searches yielded nothing so I got creative.  I decided to try a chilli non carne with carob rather than cocoa.  It struck me that buckwheat would be a great pairing for carob so this went in too, as did some vegies from the Kinglake Farmers Market.

While not my favourite chilli non carne, it was a good one.  I enjoyed the texture of the soft buckwheat, lentils and kidney beans.  The carob gave it a pleasing dark richness.  However I couldn't work out if it was my prejudice against the stuff or that I was unused to it or that I just needed some more spices and seasoning but it seems to be a sweeter flavour than usual.  Despite that, I would try carob in a chilli non carne again.  After all, Ricki and Kim have pointed out that it is packed with nutrients.  And Sylvia loves carob.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Sophie's moreish tofu - adapted
This time two years ago: Heidi’s Chocolate Cake
This time three years ago: Condensed Milk: Heirloom Comfort Food
This time four years ago: MM #12: A marriage of vanilla and chocolate

Chilli non carne with carob and kasha
Loosely based on this recipe
serves 4-6
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 tbsp carob powder
  • 1, 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or more if you aren't squeamish about heat like me)
  • stir one minute (or add after liquids)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (I only put in 1 cup stock and added some salt)
  • 400g silverbeet, chopped (including stems)
  • 600g pumpkin, peeled and chopped
  • 2 x 400g diced tomatoes
  • 400g tin kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup dried green lentils
  • 1/2 cup kasha (buckwheat groats or buckwheat kernels)
Heat the oil in a stock pot and fry the onion, garlic and carrots for about 10-15 minutes over a medium heat until softened.  Ideally at this point add carob, oregano, smoked paprika and chilli powder, and stir for one minute.  If, like me, you forget, just add spices with vegies.  Add stock, silverbeet, pumpkin, tomatoes, kidney beans and lentils.  Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add kasha/buckwheat and simmer for another 20 minutes or until lentils and kasha are soft.  I let mine sit for 30 minutes because we ate after we had put Sylvia to bed but this depends on your timing.

On the Stereo:
Picaresque: The Decemberists


  1. Carob in a chilli dish sounds intriguing - like mole with carob instead of chocolate. Hope you are having a good weekend.

  2. What a fab idea to put buckwheat into chilli.

    Another one to try after the summer!

  3. Oh wow, so you put the buckwheat into the chilli? You're entirely ingenious, Johanna! I should really stop reading blogs and get my own SOS entry written... Not enough hours in the day, gah!!

  4. what a brilliant idea :) I am definitely going to try this approach to chili :)

  5. Hmm I can't get Mr NQN to eat carob either. He's so not a fan of it from childhood! Chocolate on the other hand, he cannot stop eating! :P

  6. Sounds fascinating! I had thought about carob in chili or mole but then just didn't have time to make something. I love the idea of buckwheat in your chili, too, though--its nutty, savory flavor would work beautifully. I am guessing your bit of sweetness did, indeed, come from the carob, which is sometimes even used as a sweetener (though I don't find it nearly sweet enough on its own). Thanks so much for submitting this!

  7. It looks like a lovely chilli!

    The last time I had carob was as a small child on an exclusion diet that didn't allow chocolate :-( Must look at the SOS roundup to get more carob inspiration!

  8. What a great idea! I love carob, but don't always know what to do with it, so my carob powder sits in the cupboard for many months. This looks like a wonderful recipe and I am bookmarking it to try :)

  9. I have never used carob, but this was a great idea Johanna.

  10. I love your rendition of chili non carne with carob and kasha. :) I have been meaning to incorporate more kasha into my meals and this looks great. :)

  11. Thanks Cakelaw - intriguing yes, weekend lovely but not long enough :-)

    Thanks Helen - was inspired by a recipe using cracked wheat in the chilli but I think I prefer the buckwheat and it means it is GF

    Thanks Hannah - yes where does the day go - you should try buckwheat in the chilli if you get a chance - is delish

    Thanks Valerie - hope you enjoy

    Thanks Lorraine - I can't help but agree with Mr NQN but am trying to change my ways

    Thanks Ricki - that makes sense that carob is used as a sweetener as it does lack that bitter edge that cocoa has - maybe my chilli just needed more seasoning - though I loved it with roast vegies on the weekend after sitting a couple of days - and loved the buckwheat in the chilli

    Thanks C - there are some great ideas in the SOS challenge - sounds like eating carob wasn't too much of a hardship for you as a child if you are willing to go back, which I am glad of if you weren't able to eat chocolate

    Thanks Kari - I have made these chocolate cookies so will post these soon but the SOS challenge will give lots of ideas

    Thanks Jacqueline - it is the first time I have had it in my kitchen - was surprised sylvia liked it but maybe because like Ricki said it is quite sweet

    Thanks Kath - oh you must be a fan of the stuff!

    Thanks Janet - I've only recently discovered kasha and looking for ideas on how to use it because I love the texture - real comfort food!

  12. What a neat way to use carob...probably just like putting chocolate in a mole. I host a weekly link-up event at my blog called Slightly Indulgent Tuesday - I'd love for your to join in. Your spin on food would be a great addition to the other recipes there.


  13. Great chili creation Johanna! I've added cocoa powder once to chili and enjoyed it but haven't tried carob powder. My bag of carob powder is probably 2-3 years old now and hardly used..


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