Chai-infused Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

**Winner of the 2013 Bauman College Recipe Challenge!**


Note: Don’t let the lengthy ingredient list deter you; most items are already in your pantry!

  • 3 medium organic sweet potatoes, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tea seed, olive, or coconut oil (or any high-heat oil)
  • 1 yellow or Vidalia onion, diced small
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder (or a pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon 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
  • 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups cooked organic black beans (or 2-15oz cans)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger juice*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil**
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (for garnish)
For the Cream...
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour, drained
  • 3/4 cup Bhakti Chai Original Concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice*
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

* 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.”


Notes from Chef Gould:

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.

  1. Make Bhakti Vegan Cream: Blend cashews, and half the Bhakti concentrate/ ginger juice to start, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon. Blend in remaining liquid until consistency of a light whipped cream. Refrigerate. Makes about 1 cup; will keep up to three days, refrigerated.
  2. Make chili: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Serve chili warm, topped with cilantro, pomegranate seeds, and a dollop of Bhakti Vegan Cream.