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Four-Dried-Chilies Chili with Cocoa & Cinnamon

Four-Dried-Chilies Chili with Cocoa & Cinnamon


For the Four Dried Chilies:

  • 4 arbol chilies, seeded

  • 3 guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded

  • 2 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded

  • 2 chipotle chilies, stemmed and seeded

  • 2 cups beef bone stock or vegetable stock


  • ¼ cup good-quality ground chili powder blend

  • 2 cups beef bone stock or vegetable stock

For the Chili:

  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

  • 1 Fresno chili, seeded and chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 pounds ground meat (beef, pork or turkey) or plant-based meat

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground smoked cinnamon or cinnamon

  • Two 14-ounce cans beans (red and black)

  • One 28-ounce can crushed or diced fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (or smoked maple syrup)

  • Hot sauce, to pass at table

  • Optional add-ins: diced roasted orange squash or apples

Optional Toppings:

  • Smoked cheddar or pepper Jack

  • Pickled jalapeno peppers (mild or hot)

  • Thinly sliced scallions

  • Toasted pumpkin seeds


Serves: 4

For the four dried chilies, toast chilies until crisp and fragrant, add stock and reconstitute 10 minutes at simmer, then puree. If using the chili powder blend, lightly toast it, then combine with stock.   

For the chili, heat oil in chili pot or Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat.

Add onions and fresh peppers, season with salt and pepper and soften a couple minutes. Add garlic, then add meat and brown and crumble. Add cocoa, cumin and cinnamon and stir a minute. Add beans, tomatoes, toasted chili puree or chili powder broth and honey or maple syrup.   

Simmer 20 minutes and adjust the seasonings to your liking.     

Top with choice of garnishes and serve with hot sauce to pass.