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Today I have made a vat of chilli. My youngest is most unhappy – she thought we were making JELLY. You can appreciate her dismay.


This is my recipe for chilli – it makes two teas worth for five people, plus a little extra to fill the odd wrap or baked potato for a lunch time treat.

Finely dice one very large onion, or two small. Cook off in a little oil. Add 500g of the best mince you can afford, brown off and drain any excess fat. Add some chopped peppers (I use one of each colour), and then a generous spoon of each: chilli powder, paprika and cumin. Season well with salt and let the spices cook through for a minute of two.

Add two tins of chopped tomatoes, and then two drained tins of each red kidney beans and chickpeas.  Adding loads of pulses is very cheap and gives you many, many more portions for your pennies. It’s also much healthier. Win, win, win.

Try to let it cook for a few hours on a low heat to let the flavours deepen. The cheapest way to do this is to transfer to a slow cooker and keep it on low.

A word about spices – it is much cheaper to buy these from world food stores, or even the world food section of your local supermarket. These massive bags were 99p each at my local Indian supermarket – the difference between these and the poxy little supermarket sizes is ridiculous.


To keep the costs down, use tins from Aldi/Lidl, or value ranges from the supermarkets are totally fine. The tins I have used were approximately 33p each.


This makes about twelve portions and cost less than a fiver to make.