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12 / 05/ 2015


When my sisters and I were kids, we studied at Tigrinhos, a bilingual school in Campinas–SP and, the students used to present a theater play and a musical performance at the American School of Campinas-SP. One day, all my family was invited to see one of those students’ performances, but, of course, just to see it because the English language was new for us until that moment...It was born then my dad’s first attempt to introduce the world of the English language to us! Well, I just know that it was extremely cold on that day. And when the students finished their theater performance, a nice hot chilli and bread meal was waiting for us. Everything was going right when, out of the blue, my older sister dropped her chilli dish. In other words, a huge dark sea of beans spread all over her dress and the floor in the middle of the room! She was extremely quiet when she was young and that day, she was completely embarrassed (hahaha!) because, suddenly, she became the focus of attention for everyone! Quickly, my father tried to clean her dress and served her with some more delicious chilli again. Meanwhile, my sister and I pretended that we didn’t know her and we couldn’t avoid some uncontrollable giggling, typical of brothers and sisters! This event was our first contact with chilli, which was really appreciated by us and immediately became part of our menu, generally, on cold days. The hilarious scene that my sister was involved in turned into an unforgettable memory. So, I believe that if it hadn’t happened, that day would have certainly been one more regular day, during which we would have just seen a simple theater performance without understanding even one word but, at the end of the day, all of us ate some wonderful mince beef mixed with beans and bread (hahaha!). Only those who have already eaten it can experience its powerful taste! This dish is extremely rich in flavour, has an amazing texture, is slightly spicy and the best part, yields so much. It’s excellent to make for a legion of people. I think this was the reason why on the day of the students’ performances, they chose chilli! This dish is special for beans lovers and it is a huge success among kids! So, put the beans to soak in water and let’s go to the recipe!



               Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes                       Serves: 12-14 people




- 500 grams red beans

- 1 kg mince beef (topside or knuckle)

- 3 purple onions, peeled and chopped

- 3 fresh peppers(1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green), chopped in cubes

- 4 fresh tomatoes, without seeds and skin, chopped in large cubes

- 5 cloves garlic, crushed

- 4 bay leaves

- 2 red chilli peppers, without seeds and chopped into thin slices

- 3 tablespoons tomato puree

- 1 tablespoon spicy paprika

-  salt




1.   Put the red beans in a bowl, cover with water and leave to soak for at least eight hours, or you can pre-soak the beans overnight. Then, wash and drain. Next, put them in pressure pan over a medium high heat, add water to cover the beans and the bay leaf and cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until the beans have softened. But, you should make sure that the beans are not overcooked;


2.   Meanwhile, in a big pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add the mince beef, break it up with your spoon or spatula and cook until browned and cooked through, stirring constantly. Next, add the tomato puree, spicy paprika, cook for a few more minutes and reserve;


3.   In another pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and grill garlic, onions and chilly. Next, add all the peppers and cook for a while. Then, put the cooked mince beef and bring to cook all the ingredients;


4.    In the end, add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes until all the ingredients are incorporated;


5.   Add all this mix of vegetables and beef into the pressure pan with the beans, add salt and bring the whole thing to boil, but don’t forget to turn the heat down. Cook until the sauce thickens. Simmer it gently. Check the taste of the chilly and the seasoning;


6.   You should make sure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan or isn’t drying out. If it happens, put more water and bring to boil again.


Tips: For those who appreciate a really tasteful chilly, it is possible to grill some bacon and add to it. Personally, I usually eat chilli with white rice and potato sticks. I rarely eat it with bread! Or you can select some amazing combinations of sides, such as nachos, guacamole, sour cream and cheddar cheese, like the authentic Mexican culinary!


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