Last Friday, our Boulder Natural Chef students competed in Delicious Living‘s Bhakti Chai Recipe Contest.
The winning recipe was Tammy Gould’s Bhakti Chai-infused Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili!
- 3 medium organic sweet potatoes, diced
- 3 Tbs tea seed, olive, or coconut oil (or any high-heat oil)
- 1 yellow or Vidalia onion, diced small
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 Tbs chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground chipotle chile powder (or a pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste)
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large organic tomatoes, diced small (or 1 14-ounce jar organic crushed tomatoes, with juices)
- 1 3/4 cup Bhakti Chai original concentrate, divided
- 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth
- 1 tsp raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups cooked organic black beans (or two 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained)
- 1 Tbs fresh ginger juice (see note above)
- 1 1/2 Tbs coconut oil (optional; see note above)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (for garnish)
- Bhakti Vegan Cream
- 1 cup cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour, drained
- 3/4 cup Bhakti Chai original concentrate
- 1 tsp fresh ginger juice (see note above)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Pinch of ground cardamom
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
Make Bhakti Vegan Cream:
- Blend cashews, Bhakti concentrate, ginger juice, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon until consistency of thick cream. Refrigerate. Makes about 1 cup; will keep up to three days, refrigerated.
- Preheat oven to 400º. Toss sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons oil, plus salt and pepper to taste. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20–25 minutes.
- While sweet potatoes are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until onion starts to soften, about 3–4 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder, garam masala, and salt. Stir until well-blended. Add tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups Bhakti Chai concentrate, vegetable stock, and raw cacao or cocoa powder. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Stir in roasted sweet potatoes, beans, ginger juice, and remaining ¼ cup Bhakti concentrate. Increase heat and return chili to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in coconut oil, if using (this will reduce the overall spiciness).
- Serve chili warm, topped with cilantro, pomegranate seeds, and a dollop of Bhakti Vegan Cream.
Roasting the sweet potatoes is an easy first step as you prepare the rest of the ingredients and ensures they don’t fall apart in the chili.
If you don’t have time to prepare black beans or vegetable stock ahead of time, make sure to purchase BPA-free canned organic black beans and organic vegetable stock from your local health food store.
Ginger juice: You can buy bottled ginger juice, but to make your own, peel and finely grate fresh ginger onto a plate, then squeeze the pulp firmly over a bowl to extract juice. About 3-inches fresh ginger root will yield 1 tablespoon juice.
Chile powders and coconut oil: Chile powders can vary quite a bit in sweetness and heat. “If your chile powder is super sweet, you won’t need the optional coconut oil,” says chef Gould. “If your chili turns out too spicy (and this depends on the freshness and type of chili pepper), the coconut oil is a necessity.”