Jack Monroe - Cooking on a Bootstrap - Chillaf (Microwave chilli)

A quick and tasty dinner from Jack Monroe's Cooking on a Bootstrap

A quick and tasty dinner from Jack Monroe's Cooking on a Bootstrap

  • Total time

  • Prep time

  • Amount

    Serves one

  • Ingredients
    • 1/4 smallish onion (finely chopped)
    • 1 small garlic clove
    • 1/2 vegetable stock cube
    • 70g rice
    • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
    • 1⁄2 tsp paprika (sweet or smoked)
    • 1 x 200g tin of chopped tomatoes
    • 130g tinned kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
    • 2 squares of dark chocolate
    • roughly chopped
    • a splash of vinegar (malt will do)
    • Pinch of salt
    • 100ml natural yoghurt to serve (optional)
  1. Pop the onion and garlic into your vessel of choice – I cooked mine in a jug and it worked really well, but think a Tupperware or a bowl would work too. Remember: no metal – metal in microwaves sets fire to things, even the smallest amount of metal embellishment on a plate could be disastrous.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of water to stop them from sticking, cover with cling film and pierce in a couple of places. Turn your microwave to around half power and cook for 90 seconds, and leave to stand for a few more. Carefully peel back the cling film, starting with a side piece so you don’t get steam burns – rare but seriously painful.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, crumbling the stock cube into it so that it dissolves rather than sits at the bottom in a lump, and add 150ml cold water. Re-cover with cling film (remember to pierce it if you’re using a new bit), and cook on full power for 3 minutes.
  4.  Remove, carefully uncover and stir really, really well, cover again and pop back in for another 3 minutes. Remove, carefully uncover, and leave to stand for a minute before serving. If your rice isn’t cooked (just nibble a piece to check), then pop back in for 2 more minutes – not all rice is created equal. Basic white rice cooked in 6 minutes in my microwave with a 1-minute rest in the middle and a 1-minute rest at the end, but brown rice takes longer and black rice and red rice are somewhere in between. Add a tiny splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt to serve, it just makes it. Serve with yoghurt if you like.


For more recipe inspiration, check out this episode of Book Break where special guest Lauren and the Books makes a day of delicious, low budget meals from Jack's book Cooking on a Bootstrap

Cooking on a Bootstrap

by Jack Monroe

Book cover for Cooking on a Bootstrap

Jack Monroe is a campaigner, food writer and activist. Her first cookbook A Girl Called Jack, was a runaway bestseller selling nearly 60,000 copies. The sequel Cooking on a Bootstrap makes budget food fun and delicious, with 118 incredible new recipes including Fluffy Berry Pancakes, Self-Love Stew, Marmite Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Hot Sardines with Herby Sauce.

With her trademark humour and wit, Jack shows us that affordable, authentic and creative recipes aren’t just for those with fancy gadgets or premium ingredients.