Come lunchtime I didn’t really know what I wanted to eat and couldn’t be bothered going to shop, so decided to try and use a few bits and pieces left over before buying more.

  • one courgette (500g)
  • one large onion
  • five cloves of garlic
  • one large carrot
  • one red chilli pepper
  • one large red pepper
  • one 400g tin tomatoes
  • 215g red kidney beans (mine came from a jar)
  • one teaspoon ground cumin
  • one teaspoon paprika
  • half teaspoon ground coriander
  • two teaspoons chilli powder

Chop the onions and garlic and cook them slowly in oil in a large pan. Cut the red pepper into strips and chop the red chilli finely, removing the seeds. Dice the carrot. Add the spices to the onions and garlic, stir, then introduce the vegetables.

Meanwhile, grate the courgette and add to the mixture. Stir, and allow to simmer for ten minutes or so.

Open the tin of tomatoes, and slice them in the tin with a sharp knife. Add the tomatoes, half fill the tin with water to rinse it and add it to the mixture, season, stir and cover.

Simmer for five to ten minutes, then add the red kidney beans, stir, and leave to simmer for another ten minutes or so so that they cook. Check the seasoning. Reduce if necessary.

Chilli is a personal preference and I like mine to make my eyes water. The French, however, aren’t hot on spicy so I think the chillies I bought on Sunday are mostly decorative, which is disappointing. I normally use dried piment oiseau, which have a satisfying after-burn to them, and are on sale here during the Créole season. I will deal with the lack of fire-breath later when I reheat it if it hasn’t sorted itself out; there’s some chilli paste or some harissa which can be stirred in later or a whole jar of piment oiseau!

There was about 100g left over from yesterday’s polentastrophe which I didn’t want to throw out, so I cut it into chips and fried it with some garlic in olive oil to serve with the chilli.

I suspect I’ll have this again this evening with rice or pasta.