Monggo con Carne with Tomi Chips: Filipino-Style Chili

June 26, 2019

There are just some days when I need my bowl of chili. Regarded by many as one of the top players in comfort food lists, chili can really be all you need to get through a stressful day. When daydreams start to kick in, and visions of a piping-hot bowl filled with robust, beefy flavors finished by some tart sour cream start to toy around with your brain, you know that the calling is loud and clear—make some damn chili. But here’s a version that might just tempt you to up your chili game.

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Mung Beans (monggo) aren’t the most attractive veggies around. These round little dark-green spheres are always shadowed by the brighter-looking produce. But mung beans, in fact, make a great chili base. They’re a good choice for thickening agents, and that’s what we want in a good stew or chili. It’s also a healthier alternative if you’re gunning for a six-pack.

Filipino Chili1

The versatility from the mung beans provides a lot of room for creativity. The deep red sauce spiced with paprika provides a gentle heat with a kick from the cumin. Finish it with a generous sprinkle of our beloved Tomi Corn Chips that provide a nostalgic sweetness that can only be traced to our childhood days.

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The idea may seem hilarious on paper, but might I say, it’s one of the recipes I wolfed down on my own—without sharing.

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Monggo con Carne (Filipino Chili)

Total Time: 120 minutes | Yield: 8 servings


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 4 pcs bird’s eye chili/ siling labuyo, chopped
  • 1 pc white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup ground beef
  • 200 grams uncooked monggo
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • enough water to soften monggo (about 4-6 cups)
  • sour cream, as topping
  • cilantro, as topping
  • Tomi chips, as topping


  1. Heat olive oil in pot and sauté galic, chili, and white onion for 2-3 minutes or until soft but not browned.
  2. Add in the ground beef and sauté until cooked.
  3. Add in beans, crushed tomatoes, paprika, cumin, chili powder, and beef bouillon cubes. Mix well.
  4. Pour water and let it boil. Cook until beans are soft, to your liking. This will take about 60-90 minutes.
  5. Once softness is achieved, and consistency is thick, adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  6. Turn off the fire and transfer to bowls.
  7. Top with sour cream, chopped cilantro and crushed Tomi chips.
  8. Serve immediately.

Note: You can add more monggo if you want more beans than meat. You can also soak the monggo beans for 2 hours before prepping to speed up the cooking time.

Mikka Wee Mikka Wee

Mikka Wee is former editor of and was part of the team until she got whisked away to Singapore in 2016 where she worked in advertising and eventually found herself back in the food industry. She currently does marketing work for two popular Singaporean dessert brands and is a weekly columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s lifestyle brand, She has always been crazy about travel, food, and her dog Rocket.

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