Eat something New – Week I: Grains Of Paradise … in Chilli!

Grains of ParadisePic by Franzi.

This is the first week of my new monthly challenge where I try to eat every week a dish with at least one ingredient I never ate before. So, I asked a few friends of mine for suggestions what I should eat. The answers were (among others) edible gold leaf, cherimoya or caviar. Unfortunately I ate all of these ingredients at least once in my life. Then I went to the farmers marked and asked a lady from a spices stall for a spice I don’t know yet. She (thought maybe that I am a lunatic and) pointed at a package with grains of paradise and explained that these work well with vegetable dishes. I bought it – mostly because of its wonderful name. At home I did some research and learned that grains of paradise are a spice that remembers on something in between pepper and cardamom and that it was once very popular in the European cuisine. One should grain them only shortly before using them. I gave them a try and used them for my chilli. After first pestling and then graining them I realised that they have a nuttily scent …and that it’s better to grain them instead of pestle them. I can imagine using them not only for vegetable dishes but maybe also for pastries. Mmh, I should try that 🙂

Chilli Recipe:

Ingredients: 2 jars beans (I used one jar white beans and 1 jar kidney beans), 2 packets/jars minced tomatoes, spices (I used turmeric & smoked paprika), 2 bell peppers (minced), 1 minced chilli, 1 minced onion, 1 garlic clove (dashed), salt, olive oil, optional: grains of paradise or simply fresh grounded pepper

Preparation: In a big pot, heat up the oil. Sauté diced onions, bell peppers, chilli and the garlic. Add spices. Add the beans and the minced tomatoes. Simmer for about an hour, mostly covered. Salt and pepper/ or use the grains of paradise to taste.


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