I have been experimenting with different vegan chilli recipes lately and this is my favourite combination by far. It’s a perfect dish to cook for special occasions or to include in your weekly meal plan preps. You can enjoy with a bowl of rice or quinoa, eat with a salad or in a wrap. The vegan chilli can certainly give a lot of variety to your weekly menu without having to spend too much time in the kitchen.
The star of the dish is the Jackfruit, which is a super nutritious ingredient, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Plus, it works as a perfect meat substitute in this recipe. I first had jackfruit back in Brazil in a “‘veganised” version of one of our signature snacks called coxinha – which is a type of a chicken croquette. I was hesitant to try it at first because it looked a lot like chicken, but I am so glad I did!
For savoury dishes, it is best to get the unripe or young jackfruit as the ripe fruit is very sweet. I usually get the organic young jackfruit in a can and all I do is rinse it with running water while I separate the bulbs with my fingers giving it a shredded look.
Now, there are two secrets to this recipe. One is the fresh tomato sauce, which is my base sauce for almost all of my pot dishes. I don’t usually like the canned tomatoes as I find them too acidic, and I also prefer to cook with as many fresh ingredients as I can. What’s more, this sauce is pretty easy to make, as you only need to place all ingredients into a blender or food processor, season it to your liking and it’s ready to go.
The other secret is the raw cocoa powder, which you add to the chilli towards the end. You may find it strange, but cocoa powder is the perfect addition to any chilli recipe as it helps to balance the dish and deepen its flavour. But make sure you use raw or unsweetened cocoa powder and don’t overdo it.
I love having this chilli with some coconut yoghurt and guacamole. It makes all the difference!