Ali's Mixed Bean Vegan Chilli with Cashew Cream

When my husband cooks, it’s usually a flurry of activity in our kitchen, some weird dancing, dramatic sprinkling of herbs and the result is beautifully presented and bursting with flavour! However, when I mumble my approval through a mouthful of food and ask him what the recipe is, he shrugs and says, “I don’t know.” SIGH!

But last week, I refused to let him get away with it once again. And so I want to share the very FIRST recipe I have managed to convince him to scribble down. I share it because it’s so easy; anyone can cook this, even me! It’s delicious and hearty and ideal for chilly Autumn evenings. It’s packed with vegetables; and though neither of us are strict vegans, we are slowly moving across to a vegetable dominant diet. We’re doing this for environmental reasons yes, but also because eating a lot of varied vegetables is just really good for you and for your gut.

So, without further ado here we are:


Olive Oil

1 large red onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

Half tablespoon chilli flakes (for medium spicy; use less if you don’t like the bite)

Half tablespoon ground smoked paprika

1 tin kidney beans

1 tin butterbeans

1 tin Cannelini beans

1 tin chopped tomatoes

Salt & pepper to taste

Fresh coriander to garnish


  1. Finely chop the onion and crush and chop the garlic. Fry for five minutes in olive oil over a medium heat until fragrant and the onion is transparent.

  2. Add the spices and continue to cook for two minutes, stirring frequently.

  3. Drains the beans, reserving a little of the liquid. Rinse well with water, and add the beans to the pan.

  4. Give the contents of the pan a good stir and cook for two more minutes.

  5. Add the tin of tomatoes and stir well to ensure that all the beans are submerged in sauce. Add some of the bean tin liquid if necessary (ie. if the stew looks too dry). I usually add about half a tin mixed with water to get the consistency I prefer.

  6. Season well with salt and pepper, reduce the heat and simmer for around 45 minutes. Add a little of the reserved bean tin liquid, or water, if it starts to dry out. Season further if necessary.

  7. Enjoy with rice/ quinoa/ pasta/ tortilla chips and garnish with sour cream (or Cashew Cream - recipe below) and lots of corriander.



50g unsalted cashews soaked in 100ml boiling water for 10mins (longer with cold water)

Juice of half a lemon

Quarter tablespoon of nutritional yeast

BLEND and add salt to taste


This makes about 6 servings, so we usually freeze a few batches to enjoy later. If you’d like, it’s also a great idea to chuck in any leftover veg you have like peppers, carrot and zucchini.

Bon appétit!