Carlin Pea Chilli

Ever heard of Carlin Peas? Lancastrians will know exactly what they are, but likely if you’re from down south like me, these were total news.

Carlin peas, aka maple peas, aka black badgers, aka pigeon peas, aka brown peas – are a British grown classic (medievally speaking) that make a great substitute to the chick pea. Enjoyed on bonfire night in the north, with lashing of vinegar – wiki’s words!

Imagine that, an air mile free (in the UK) chickpea and bean alternative. Great news huh, for salads, soups, stews, brownies, and…. chilli’s.

A four bean/pea chilli, which we’ll grant ya, does rack the air mile count back up again but it all helps, innit. And it’s vegan.  With air miles on the membrane, we opted for freekeh instead of the go to quinoa, the results were pleasing. This is a fail safe recipe from Jamie’s 15 minute meals, and delicious. We’ve said 30mins cuz we’re not as quick as Jamie – but it does cook in 15mins.

Tuck in. 

30 mins | serves up to 6 | easy times


1 tin carlin peas

1 small tin kidney beans

1/2 tin black beans – or more

1/2 tin harricot beans – or more – or white beans

1 small tin sweetcorn

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1/2 green pepper, deseeded and chopped

1/2 red pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 red onion, peeled and halved

1 ancho chilli

1/2 fresh red chilli, seeds in

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 tsp hot smoked paprika

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 big bunch coriander

olive oil

freekeh – or do your own thang


Put the onion, ancho and red chillies, paprika, garlic and cumin seeds in the processor, then add the coriander stalks, saving the leaves, and 2 tablespoons olive oil and whizz until fine.

Get a pan on a high heat and throw the paste in when it’s nice and hot. Give it a stir around to meet the heat and chuck in the peppers. Stir again, give it a minute or two to come up to temperature again and bung in the beans and sweetcorn, season, stir and add the tomatoes, and a little water.

Give that all a good stir, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 mins depending on how much time you have.

Cook the freekeh as the pack tells ya (15mins usually), drain it, pile it high in the middle of the chilli when it’s ready, and top with lots of coriander.

Serve with guacamole and homemade tortilla strips.


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