Rainy Day Nairobi Chilli

It has been rainy and cold (for Kenyan standards) all week and I’ve wanted to make chilli. However, it has been too wet to make it to the Corner Store (my favourite vegetable store in Diamond Plaza) until Thursday. Yesterday the rain shower came early; so immediately after work I dodged the puddles and hoofed it to the grocery store. My mission was a success and I started whipping together this hearty chilli as soon as I got home… while enjoying some Belgian chocolate đŸ˜‰

The Recipe:

1 big can of peeled whole tomatoes
1 regular size can of kidney beans
1 reg. can of brown beans
1 reg. can of butter/white beans
1 reg. can of sweet corn niblets
1 medium butternut squash cubed

4-5 slices of bacon chopped
2 medium white onions chopped
500 grams of ground beef
2 big cloves of garlic finely chopped
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
2 tsp of chilli powder

Garnish with sliced avocado & a dollop of sour cream


1. Chop up onions and bacon. Caramelize together in a BIG soup pot on medium-high heat. Once onions are soft and bacon is browned, add the ground beef (defrosted if you’ve had it in the freezer) and finely chopped garlic. When the ground beef is fully cooked and your kitchen smells like meaty goodness…

2. Add your canned tomatoes and beans. Be sure to drain the fluid from the can of kidney beans and butter beans.

3. To spice (and you are working with very minimal kitchen tools) make a little cup with the palm of your half and fill half of that with salt and then toss it in the pot. Then ground some pepper into your pot and add your chilli powder. Do the waft test and if your nose says “More spice!” go for it, but taste it along the way to make sure it doesn’t get too intense. This is the fun part!

4. Add the can of corn niblets (be sure to drain the fluid from the can first), then toss in your cubes of butternut squash. Turn your heat down to medium and put the lid 3/4’s over the pot. Let your chilli flavours harmonize and meld together for 60-90 minutes. It’s a big flavour party in that pot!

This recipe was inspired by recipe from Perry’s Plate.

When ready to eat, garnish your bowl of chilli with a big dollop of sour cream and a couple of slices of avocado. Curl up on the couch with a blanket and a good book (or movie) and relish in the fact that you are warm and cozy even while its pouring rain outside.

I was lucky and had a surprise visit from Jonathan, a fellow intern from my university, and he brought carrot cake over! We had a lovely visit about our vastly different experiences here. It definitely turned into a quality Thursday evening and I’m ready to take on my 3rd last weekend in Kenya.


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