I’ve known Bebo for a little over a year now, and he is one of the easiest people to talk to. He may seem a bit quiet at the start: both soft-spoken and kind. But this musically inclined man not only makes some kick-ass music, but he also cooks one mean pot of chili.
I’m not much of a fan of beans. I find them starchy and they make me gassy most of the time. I rarely eat beans, so you could say Bebo’s Chili is the only exception.
The first time I tried Bebo’s chili was in a potluck dinner with friends in their Ayala Alabang home. I think I ate the most number of bowls because when everyone else was getting dessert, I was still getting more chili. It goes really well with tortilla chips, but I love eating the chili on its own. What I like about the chili is that it has this tingly effect that literally warms up your belly. Very delicious.
Bebo’s Chili isn’t the spicy kind that makes you want to reach out for a glass of milk to extinguish the burning flame on your tongue. It’s loaded with tomatoes, beer, cayenne pepper, and dark chocolate. And given this bipolar weather, there’s no other dish I’d dream of snuggling with on a rainy day.
Bebo also told me that he used to be quite anal about the cooking process, leaving the beans to soak overnight for a full-blasted flavor and a better bite. But for this batch of chili, he opted to use canned beans because not only because they’re easier to prepare, but also because they make you less gassy as compared to organic ones. Sounds perfect to me.
His wife, Nikki of The Green Grocer, is indeed quite lucky to have bagged herself a husband who makes music and cooks good food. Bebo mentioned something about his winner steaks and fabada, which is a white bean stew flavored with smoky meats such as pancetta, etc. Hmmm, I don’t think it’ll be long before you see him featured on the website again.
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Bebo Bharwani’s Famous Chili
Total Time: 90 minutes / Yield: 1 large pot
- 1 kilo ground beef
- 2 medium sized red onion (minced)
- 8 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 4 table spoons grated ginger
- 2 large green bell peppers
- 4 table spoons of olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 table spoons ground cumin
- 4 table spoons red chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne powder
- 1 bottle of cerveza negra
- 6 cubes dark chocolate
- cheddar cheese cut into cubes (180grams)
- 3 cans of crushed tomatoes (350 gram can)
- 2 cans of whole tomatoes (350gram can)gram
- 8 cans of Red kidney beans (350gram can)
- 1 small can of red pimiento
- Heat the olive oil and saute garlic, onions, and grated ginger.
- Season beef with salt, pepper, 1 table spoon cumin, 1 table spoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 2 bay leaves.
- Combine beef to the sauteed garlic, onions, and ginger; cook until beef is brown.
- Add the bell peppers as well as the can of chopped pimiento.
- Deglaze with cerveza negra (although save a sip for the chef !).
- Add canned tomatoes.
- Add the red kidney beans (rinse them first).
- Dissolve the remaining cumin, chili, and cayenne in 3 cups of water.
- Add more salt and black pepper and combine in the pot.
- Combine the cubes of chocolate and cheese.
- Run the pot to a boil and then simmer for another hour till all the flavors meld and the chili thickens.
- Serve with lime tortilla chips.