In The Chili Cookbook, Robb Walsh explores various meat-bases, spices and flavors while still maintaining true to this iconic American dish.
“Black salt” or kala namak, a pink or purple rock salt extracted from the Himalayas, is a traditional ingredient that lends a unique, slightly sulfurous flavor to the chili. Black cardamom is larger and more complex than common green cardamom. Black salt, cardamom, and the prepared ginger⁄garlic paste called for here are available at Indian and Pakistani grocery stores.
- Heat the oil in a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 of the onions, and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, cumin seeds, coriander, salt, “black salt,” turmeric, chilli powder, ginger paste, and garlic paste and continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
- Add the yogurt and chopped tomatoes. Cook over medium heat until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is almost dry again, about 8 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and ¼ cup of the water and increase the heat to high, stirring as needed to keep the mixture from burning, until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of water, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the water has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
- Taste and adjust salt if required. Spread mashed potatoes on a serving plate and top with the keema, garnish with chopped onions and cilantro, and serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from The Chili Cookbook: A History of the One-Pot Classic, with Cook-Off Worthy Recipes from Three-Bean to Four-Alarm and Con Carne to Vegetarian by Robb Walsh, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.