When the weather turns really cold, and all you feel like doing is to sit in front of a fire, and gulp down a delicious dish of chili. But the whole experience can turn sour if the dish turns out too thin. Now, you need not cook it longer to thicken it. We, at Tastessence, have provided some easy ways to thicken chili.
Did You Know?
In the year 1977, Chili dish was declared as the official state dish of Texas by the Texas Legislature.
Nothing soothes your tummy more than a warm bowl of mouth-watering chili pot. This spicy preparation, be it with vegetables or chicken or beef, has been popular as a dish and as an accompaniment too. There has been an ongoing debate about who invented this dish, Texans claim that nobody can cook this dish better than them. It is a favorite food item for cook-offs, where potential chefs show off their culinary skills by fixing a pot with their ingredients. Primarily it contains peppers, meat, tomatoes, spices, and beans.
Earlier, it was a food meant for people who couldn’t afford meat, so they assembled various spices and vegetables. If your recipe contains vegetables or meat, white or red, you certainly don’t want to serve it as a soup. If you have added too much water or too much tomato sauce, resulting in a thin stew, don’t sweat, you can easily salvage the dish in a number of ways. Read on and learn about some easy ways to thicken chili.
Easy Ways to Thicken Chili
♦ You don’t need to dilute it with water, instead, you can directly add 2 to 3 tbsp of cornmeal, directly in the pot, mix it well so that it absorbs some of the liquid.
♦ Let the chili simmer on medium flame for about 5-10 minutes.
♦ There you go, your chili is thick like a gravy. If you still feel you need to thicken it further, then repeat the procedure.
♦ Cornmeal resembles flour, but has a corn-like flavor because it is ground directly from corn. Adding cornmeal can alter the taste of your chili, so use accordingly. After all, we don’t want it to taste more like corn.
♦ Take a bowl and add 60 ml water―¼ cup―now put 2 tbsp flour and mix thoroughly, use a fork to beat the mixture so that there are no lumps and the paste is smooth.
♦ Now, add this mixture to the chili, and cook over medium to high heat, keep stirring until you see bubbles popping on the surface.
♦ Continue stirring even after the chili thickens so that the flour completely integrates with the stew, this will avoid the flavor of flour from entering your dish.
♦ Though white flour is flavorless, using too much can make your dish bland and less spicy.
Uncover the lid
♦ Remove the lid from the pot and let it cook for 30 to 60 minutes.
♦ If you are in a hurry, you can increase the heat, and it will take around 30 minutes, but don’t let the mixture boil.
♦ This method helps to thicken the chili by using evaporating the water. If you uncover the lid, water evaporates quickly, and you get thick chili.
♦ This process does not alter the flavor, and hence, is the safest option.
♦ When we talk about thickening agents, how can we forget cornstarch? Mix 1 tbsp. Cornstarch with 1 tbsp. cold water in a mixing bowl. Beat the mixture thoroughly, make sure there are no lumps.
♦ Add this mixture to your pot of chili, stir it properly, let it cook over medium to high heat for few minutes. You will see the results within a few minutes.
♦ If you are not satisfied with the thickness, you can add the cornstarch and water mixture again. Let the mixture cook for another 5 minutes, this will help to breakdown the cornstarch flavor.
♦ It is flavorless and won’t play around with the flavor, but it can definitely tone down the flavor of chili, making it less potent.
♦ Mix 1 tsp. of arrowroot and 1 tsp. of cold water, stir it thoroughly, and add the mixture to the chili.
♦ Let the chili simmer for few minutes, the mixture will thicken instantly.
♦ Arrowroot is a starch which is produced from arrowroot plant, it is again flavorless but potent, so use it wisely, because we don’t want the chili to be extremely spicy.
♦ Many cooks prefer this method because it does not dilute the flavor, yet retains the spicy flavor too.
♦ During the final 30 minutes of cooking, add a 6-oz can of tomato puree into the chili. You can always use fresh homemade tomato paste. Stir the mixture thoroughly.
♦ Tomato is one of the main ingredients in chili, so even if you add extra, it won’t alter the taste; however, tomato paste is considered to be bitter, you can add 1 tbs. of powdered sugar to the chili, to give the dish a little bit of sweetness.
♦ You can add tomato paste in intervals of 10 minutes, don’t add the paste all at once. Gradually adding the paste will enable you to gauge the thickness and add accordingly.
Add More Beans or Meat
♦ If you have used beans or meat in your dish, you can reduce the liquidity of the dish by adding a can of beans or meat pieces to the chili.
♦ This will help to make the mixture more thick.
♦ Crush some tortilla chips and add them to the chili.
♦ They will absorb the extra liquid and give your dish a slight structure in the process making it thicker.
The beauty of this dish is that you can make it the way you want by adding whatever you like. By using the above methods, you can easily thicken your yummy pot of chili, this will definitely leave your guests asking for more.