Cincinnati Chili 🍲 Make America Spicy Again 🌶️ An Ital Recipe

in hive-120078 •  26 days ago 

This recipe is based on one of the few American foods I still enjoy, Cincinnati Chili, although ours is a vegan version of this classic midwestern dish.

If you're not from Ohio or an American state bordering Ohio, you likely have never heard of Cincinnati Chili, but is truly out of this world delicious, especially my version.

But What Is It?

     Chili (con carne) is a mildly spicy Tex-Mex dish, and as its name implies, it contains meat and chilies. Tex-Mex style chili should contain at the very least, meat, beans, tomatoes, chilies, garlic, onions and cumin.

     Cincinnati Chili is a midwestern interpretation of this Tex-Mex dish, apparently with some Macedonian immigrant history to it.

     The ingredient list for Cincinnati Chili is a bit different, requiring cinnamon, dark chocolate or cocoa powder and pasta in addition to standard chili ingredients.

     In Ohio fast-food chili restaurants, you order your chili by counting the "ways," usually like this:

  • Two-Way - spaghetti with chili on top
  • Three-Way - spaghetti, chili and cheese
  • Four-Way Onion - spaghetti, chili, onions and cheese
  • Four-Way Bean - spaghetti, chili, beans and cheese
  • Five-Way - spaghetti, chili, beans, onions and cheese

Cincinnati Chili 👨‍🍳 An Ital Recipe


Qurator's: Hive Top Chef! | PASTA! 🍝

     This recipe came from years of experimenting, eventually letting Indian influences creep into it over time, such as ginger and turmeric.

     It has become our family go-to soulfood dish, and because it's heavy and very filling, meat-eaters will love it too.

     It's also a hit with kids, and is actually Monkey-B's favorite dish, but it's a close tie with Tofu Larb.

Cincinnati Chili 🧅🍅🧄🌶️ Ingredients

Primary Ingredients
⋆ dried beans (soaked overnight) - 1 cup
⋆ pasta (any kind) - ½ kilo
⋆ tomatoes - 9-10
⋆ ginger - thumbnail sized piece
⋆ onions - 2-3 small
⋆ hing - ⅛ tsp
⋆ cinnamon - small stick
⋆ garlic - 5 cloves
⋆ cumin seeds - 1 tsp
⋆ cocoa powder - 1½ tbsp
⋆ chili powder (Tex-Mex) style - 1 tsp
⋆ paprika - 1 tsp
⋆ powdered chilies - ½ tsp
⋆ turmeric - ¼ tsp
⋆ allspice ⅛ tsp
⋆ turmeric - ¼ tsp
⋆ coriander powder 1 tsp
More "Ways"
⋆ soy chunks ½ cup
⋆ raw diced onions
⋆ oyster or saltine crackers
⋆ hot sauce
⋆ vegan cheese (for hipsters)

note: Tex-Mex chili powder is not powdered chilies, but a mix of chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder and other ingredients

👨‍🍳 Cooking Method 🔪

It Doesn't Have To Be This Complicated

     You could omit the hing, turmeric powder, coriander powder and ginger, and still have a delicious non-Indianized Cincinnati Chili recipe.


Blend the tomatoes and ginger and set aside.

Dice the onions, crush the garlic, drain the soaking water from the beans and combine all powdered spices except for cocoa powder.


Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a pressure cooker and add the diced onions and cinnamon stick.

Saute over medium low-heat until the onions begin to caramelize a bit.


Add the cumin seeds and saute a minute or two.


Add the crushed garlic cloves and saute another 3-4 minutes.


Add the crushed garlic cloves and saute another 3-4 minutes.


Add the powdered spices minus the cocoa powder and saute a minute while stirring.


Now add the tomato-ginger puree, cocoa powder and ½ tsp salt. Bring to a simmer.


Add the soaked beans.


Put the lid on the pressure cooker and wait until the first whistle, then turn off the stove.

Wait until all steam has escaped, then relight stove and bring the pressure cooker to one more whistle, then turn off the stove.

👨‍🍳 Prepare Your "Ways"🔪

Don't Forget The Pasta 🍝

     This dish really shouldn't be eaten without the pasta, so don't forget to cook it too. I didn't mention it in the recipe because you Hivers are pro chefs and don't need to be taught how to boil pasta.

     A little hint for perfect timing is to start boiling your pasta water around the same time you put the lid on the pressure cooker.

More Protein & More Fun 👨‍🍳

     Totally optional, but we like to add soy chunks to our chili to add more ways. More ways is more fun, and it gives this dish a little umami kick. Tofu, soy chunks and tempeh are all fair game.


Soak them in water for 30 minutes and squeeze out the excess water, and these protein balls are ready for cooking.


Heat a bit of oil in a small pan and fry the soy chunks with some salt and pepper until lightly browned.

Now You Got A Spread 🔪

     Dice up some fresh onions, snag some hot sauce, plate your soy chunks, grab the pasta, the pressure cooker, and if you live in a country without food shortages, you can add saltine crackers and vegan cheese to the "ways."

     If you put this kit on the table and the family is stoked, you can consider it "mission complete.".

Eat It 🍴

     I think the reason it's Monkey-B's favorite dish is because you get to play with it so much before eating it."

     By the time I usually finish my first plate, Monkey-B is still busy decorating her pasta with the perfect amount of chili, onions and soy chunks.

     Monkey-B hasn't yet burst her stomach from overeating Cincinnati Chili, but we think we've had some close calls.

     She is always the last one at the table, and always stumbles back in the house visibly intoxicated on raw onions and protein.

     This dish is a weekly staple in our home, and it's usually a good meal to feed the @KidSisters when they're looking a little skinny.


If you enjoyed this post, please upvote and reblog.

Monkey B


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Interesting version. It looks very appetizing, I wouldn't mind giving it a try 🙂

Yes, this is actually Monkey-B's favorite food, along with Tofu Larb. It's full of protein, so very filling.

I have heard of Cincinnati Chili, just never tasted it. I've put chili over mashed potatoes or rice, so this isn't much different, really. Your recipe sounds awesome with the addition of ginger and other spices! 😋 I've heard it said that a little bit of chocolate or cocoa is added to some such dishes in authentic Mexican cuisine, from the tradition of the Mayan peoples.

MonkeyB's huge smile in these photos is priceless! 💖

I know, it's strange that this addition of cocoa powder/chocolate didn't happen in Texas where there are more Mexican influences.

I don't know why Ohio is the place that spruced up Texas Chili, but it's certainly more delicious in my opinion, and I grew up eating Texas-style chili because my stepmom was from there.

Funny, I jusy put black beans on to soak but didnt know what to do with them tonight. I never thpught of adding cacao but that makes sense. Might skip the ginger thougj!!!

Black beans are actually our favorite bean to use in this dish, but any sizeable bean will work. As long as the kids don't get to see the soaking water from the black beans, they're fine.

This looks delicious, I like the idea of adding cocoa powder to the chili. We will give this a try.

It doesn't seem like a good idea, but I guess I would call it "umami." There is just something indescribable that cocoa powder adds, and it is deliciousness.

  ·  24 days ago (edited)

Your food really tasty and good for healthy!

Yes it is, but is too heavy for you to eat a lot.