Black bean and mushroom chili – vegan


Pomegranate gems and caramelised sweet potato add a fresh twist.

Practical preparation time 20 minutes
Ready to eat in 90 minutes
Serves 4 people


  • A large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 200g mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 -3 fresh red chilies, finely sliced (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tsp cumin seed, crushed
  • 800g (2 tins) black beans
  • 400g fresh tomatoes OR 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 pomegranate
  • Small bunch fresh coriander (parsley if you don’t like coriander)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put a saucepan on medium heat, add oil and onions. Fry until translucent, add mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have shrunk slightly and then add the carrot, cumin, garlic and chili. Turn up the heat a little and fry until fragrant, stirring frequently.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes to the vegetables, put a lid on the pan and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes. Chop the coriander stems and lower leaves finely, reserve the top leaves whole for garnishing.
  4. Turn down to a low simmer; add the beans along with the water from the can and half the coriander stems. Add the paprika, cook with the lid on for about 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so until the chili is thickened and ready to serve.
  5. Prepare the sweet potato; peel then julienne or fine julienne with a mandolin slicer. Toss with a little oil, salt, pepper, and spread apart on a lined baking sheet. Cook for 25-35 minutes until starting to caramelise, you’ll need to shuffle them about halfway through for even cooking. These sweet potato shreds are delicious hot or cold.
  6. When the chili is cooked, season to taste with salt and ground black pepper, stir in the remaining chopped coriander stems and leaves.
  7. Cut the pomegranate in half and twist and tear it over a bowl to pop the gems out of the shell. They keep well in the fridge if you don’t want to use them all at once.
  8. Serve the chili sprinkled with the coriander leaves, pomegranate gems and the caramelised sweet potato.

Sides and Toppings

I like to serve this with rice. Other good accompaniments are couscous, quinoa, cornbread, tortilla chips and vegetable fritters. Tasty toppings include avocado, guacamole, mango salsa, jalapeños, vegan cheese, nutritional yeast flakes, pumpkin seeds, crispy onions and sweetcorn.


Freezes well, or keeps in the fridge for a couple of days. Use as a filling for burritos, tacos or as a topping on nachos. If you don’t like mushrooms, substitute with red peppers. If your tomatoes are very watery and the chili isn’t as thick as you’d like, add some chia seeds – half a teaspoon at a time. They soak up the extra juice in just a couple of minutes and thicken the sauce nicely.


By Lara Skingsley 

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