Cornbread-Topped Pumpkin and Navy Bean Chilli Con Carne

Cornbread-Topped Pumpkin and Navy Bean Chilli Con Carne

This is my first blog after a 5-month long break and it took me 3 weeks of procrastination and struggle for self-discipline to finish this. I didn’t want to post just any recipe for my big comeback and I am glad I chose this one.

Most of my friends know that I had a tiny booth at the local farmers’ market¬† this summer where my husband and I sold one of my specialties, Butter Chicken. We sold succulent Chicken Tikka and Butter Chicken Wraps loaded with tangy pickled red cabbage and garlicky yogurt sauce. Let me tell you this, it was a lotttt of work and I was on an emotional roller coaster for the entire duration of the market. From June to October, I switched between excitement, frustration, exhilaration, disheartenment, exhaustion and oh…did I mention frustration? several times. I now have a new found respect for farmers/food vendors/restaurant owners all over the world. It definitely was a good learning experience and we made some amazing vendor friends through the art of bartering. A nicely packaged raspberry pie from Sweetie Pies¬†across our stall or a big crate of fresh strawberries from our farmer friends from Niagara in exchange for a tikka wrap was great way to socialize. Food brings people and cultures together – and it did. Before I forget, a big thank you to all my friends who drove from various parts of Ontario to visit us at the market <3

Fall, the season of pumpkins and apples is here! It is not my-blood-stopped-running-because-it-froze-in-my-arteries cold yet but it is just cold enough for one to enjoy a guilt-free cup of hot chocolate with some extra whipped cream on top. Yum!

Few weeks back, the cool crisp wind outside made me crave some warm chilli. And, noticing the brightly coloured squashes sitting on my countertop I thought I should add some to my chilli. I loved it! It was different when compared to a classic chilli but not enough to take away that feeling of comfort and warmth that usually accompanies homemade chilli. It was the perfect balance! I admit that the ingredient list is long but it is a fuss-free recipe.

Golden-crusted, crumbly and honey-flavoured cornbread with tangy tomatoey pumpkin and white bean chilli con carne. Now, what sounds more Fall than that? Try a warm, comforting scoop of this classic dish with an Autumn twist and enjoy this magical season.

Cornbread-Topped Pumpkin and Navy Bean Chilli Con Carne

Serves 4-6
Prep time 7 minutes
Cook time 53 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Meal type Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

Chilli

  • 400g Ground Beef/Lamb
  • 300g Pumpkin (cubed (1.5 inch X 1.5 inch))
  • 500g Canned Chopped Tomato
  • 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 cube Natural Vegetable/Beef bouillon
  • 1 Onion (large)
  • 6 cloves Garlic (Chopped finely)
  • 3 tablespoons Creole Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1.5 cups Cooked Navy Beans
  • 1/2 cup Water (hot)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Chilli (Optional)

  • Sea Salt

Cornbread

  • 1 cup Cornmeal
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 100g Butter
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Honey

Directions

Prepare and chop your vegetables and set aside.
Put 1 tablespoon of oil into a hot cooking pot, add the meat and stir continuously until it becomes free of lumps. Browning the meat takes approximately 5 minutes. Cook until there are no pink juices and the meat turns dark brown. Remove and set aside on a separate plate.
Crumble 1 bouillon cube into 1/2 cup of hot water. Set aside.
Add oil followed by onions and garlic into the same cooking pot and cook until slightly brown and soft.
Tip in the pumpkins and pour in the stock followed by the browned meat, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and spices.
NOTE: Check the chilli for salt before adding any sea salt. The Creole seasoning used in this recipe contains salt.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the beans and set aside.
For the cornbread, mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Combine them to form a lump-free batter.
Pour the cooked chilli into a large baking dish (or two separate dishes) and spread it evenly using a spoon.
NOTE: Use half the chilli only if you want more cornbread to chilli ratio or vice versa if you want more chilli and less bread. This chilli freezes well.
Pour the cornbread batter over the chilli and level the surface using a spatula.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the cornbread is golden brown.

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