Dad’s Spicy Chili Recipe #BornOnTheFarm

chilli recipe for guysI wish I enjoyed cooking, I really do, because I certainly like to eat. Every time I have a memorable restaurant experience, I think to myself, ‘why don’t I try to replicate this at home’. Yet whenever I find a recipe I think I would enjoy following, I end up a broken man, having usually spent 3 times the cost of the restaurant version on ingredients and dirtying every dish in my cupboard during preparation. By the time I have prepared the meal and cleaned up all the dishes, I am usually too strung out to sit down and enjoy my work, which incidentally, never tastes as good as I hoped it would. However, there is one dish in this world that I have mastered, and that’s chili.

When I was in high school, I began to develop a taste for spicy food. In my home, that meant my Mom’s chili, which was the only item she made on a regular basis that had even a hint of spice. Deciding to take matters into my own hands, I decided to follow the recipe on my own one day and it turned out to be pretty good. I quickly realized that I could increase the spice level of the dish with a little more chilli powder, and then top up my personal bowl with a few chili flakes. A lot of people notice my ability to tolerate even the spiciest of dishes and ask if marrying a Sri Lankan made me such a spice lover. Nope. In reality, my spice tolerance had already been quite high, and it’s what got me through the first few Sri Lankan dishes Yashy made for me. It all traces back to chili.

Disclosure : I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Gay Lea and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog, as always, are TOTALLY ours! 


dads who cookThrough university, I became known for my chili (at least 4 people know me this way). Being the only dish I ever made regularly, I became pretty good at it, knowing just how much chilli powder to add to make the dish spicy enough to have my friends chugging extra beer but not so spicy that the dish went untouched. Then I met Yashy, and she gave me a package of chilli powder from Sri Lanka. The first batch I made was so hot that I had a few classmates break out in sweats when I made a batch for the Super Bowl one year, and I have spent recent years trying to rework the recipe to accommodate for the fiery flavors that Sri Lankan chilli powder can produce. I am beginning to realize that this may not be possible, but a savior has emerged, sour cream. Adding a little Gay Lea Sour Cream (or a lot) to a bowl of chili not only tempers the spice level, but adds great flavour as well. We served Gay Lea’s Fat Free Sour Cream on New Year’s Eve given all the indulgences taking place and everyone loved the silky texture and tangy taste, not even noticing that it was fat free! We were a bit surprised when Little Monkey wanted none of the chili (we made a non spicy version as well) but all of the sour cream. Yashy decided to help me out and served the chili in a bread bowl and she also crumbled some Ivanhoe Horseradish Cheddar on hers. Our friends also enjoyed the chili with the sour cream and horseradish cheddar, so if you’re a cheese lover that’s definitely the way to go.



This year, I’ve already started cooking my favorite dish, having made a batch on New Year’s Eve, with enough left over for the upcoming NFL playoff games. And during this year’s Super Bowl, you can bet I’ll have a new pot brewing. Here’s the way I make it, but I would encourage you to experiment with your favourite vegetables and spices. Just remember to be restrained if you buy your chilli powder at a Sri Lankan grocery store!


Ingredients (serves 6 to 8)

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 lb of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper – chopped
  • 2 cans (19 fl oz) red kidney beans
  • 2 cans (28 fl oz) whole tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 fl oz) tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Gay Lea Sour Cream
  • Cheese and Cilantro (optional)


  1. In a 1 gallon pot, cook the ground beef over medium heat, stirring the meat to break it into fine pieces.
  2. Once the meat turns brown, add in sliced mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in sliced green peppers and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Drain the tomato cans and add to pot, stirring to break the tomatoes into smaller pieces (I usually use 2 table knives and slice the tomatoes in a scissor-like fashion).
  5. Drain and add the red kidney beans
  6. Add the tomato sauce, chilli powder, cumin, salt, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce and stir
  7. Reduce heat to low
  8. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally
  9. Top with Gay Lea Sour Cream and serve (you can also crumble some cheese  or shred some cilantro if you like!)

  • Jacky
    January 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Yum, I will have to give it a try!

  • Calvin F.
    January 10, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Wow that looks very delicious. I like how you served it in a bread bowl.

  • Darlene Schuller
    January 11, 2017 at 7:32 am

    This looks tasty! As soon as I seen it I thought of my Dad and how much he’d love this! He’s been gone, 16 years next month… I know he would’ve indulged in this quite often!

  • Leslie C
    January 11, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Sounds delicious!
    I like that I can find most of the ingredients in my cupboards now!

    • Yashy
      January 11, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Funny enough that’s what a friend texted me last night too!! I think this is why he likes it, it’s the basics we always have at home!

  • Angela Lombardi
    January 11, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Looks yummy!

  • Kim Beaulieu
    January 15, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    This looks amazing. I love the bread bowl. I think you have mad skills in the kitchen. I’d eat the heck out of this.

    • Yashy
      January 15, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      Hah! Thank you.. the bread bowl was the easiest part.. takes a minute if you’re ever looking for a fancy but easy presentation!

  • Elizabeth Matthiesen
    February 2, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    The first time I had a bread bowl was in Germany and it was filled with delicious goulasch. I still make goulasch but I’ve never used a bread bowl for it. I’m afraid I just can’t cope with spicy, my mouth, tongue and lips just burn like mad but this does look good. 🙂

    • Yashy
      February 5, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Goulash in a bread bowl would be good!

  • Wendy S
    February 5, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    I made this last night for today’s family gathering for the Super Bowl!

  • kathy downey
    April 18, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Thanks for sharing your recipe with us,i can’t wait to surprise my family with this…..yummy !

  • AD
    May 24, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    This looks great! I love the simple ingredients… My fave thing is chili recipes and I collect all kinds to add to my collection.

  • Angela
    December 11, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    I don’t like to cook either but for very different reasons, my house caught on fire about 8 yrs ago nad I am not sure how it happened as I passed out (low blood pressure)! But ever since my family doesn’t trust me around the oven or the stove! But i do love to eat my mtoher g.reat food (96% of the time lol )

    • Yashy
      December 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      Oh my Angela, that sounds traumatic but I’m so glad to hear you and your family were unharmed physically. I prefer when others cook for me too.

  • Lynda Cook
    December 16, 2018 at 10:17 am

    That is pretty much how I make my chili but I use diced tomatoes instead, no cutting required, I have been seeing all these chili recipes, I think I am going to have to make some up!

    • Yashy
      December 16, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Oh, it’s a great recipe this time of year, isn’t it?

  • Rosanne Robinson
    December 27, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    We love chili too and your recipe looks yummy, the bread bowl is a terrific idea, looking forward to trying it, thx.

    January 5, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks Like Chilli in the winter and adding sour cream is a great idea

Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.