Thai Fusion Chili


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This is a spin on a traditional Southern-style chili with a Thai twist in seasoning and remarkable flavor! Drawing from cinnamon, dark chocolate, and vanilla, some unexpected flavors render an amazing dish.

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Baton Rouge, LA

Time needed

10 min preparation + 75 min cooking

Serving Size / Yield

8 servings


  • 3 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. yellow onions
  • 2 lg. colorful bell peppers
  • 1 lg. jalapeno pepper
  • 1 lg. poblano pepper
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic paste
  • one 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs. sea salt
  • 1 Tbs. fresh black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground oregano
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 C. dark chili powder (check ingredients for salt, reduce salt if included)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 dark chocolate bar (4 oz.)
  • 1/4 C. smooth peanut butter

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Dice onions, poblanos, and bell peppers, then mince jalapenos and garlic. Heat olive oil in a large pot and saute onions, garlic, chili garlic paste, and all peppers until onions are clear, about 10 minutes. Add meat and dry seasonings, except for chili powder. Cook until meat is browned, about 10-15 minutes, then remove excess fat by straining off top with a spoon. Add tomatoes and simmer together for 5 minutes. Add chili powder, then evaluate the color. If not a rich brown "chili" color, add more chili powder until it looks right. Cook for about 30 minutes to blend flavors and tenderize meat. Add about 1/4 cup water as needed to prevent sticking or burning. Add vanilla, chocolate, and peanut butter, and stir in thoroughly. Simmer about 10 minutes. Taste to check seasoning levels, add salt as needed.

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