Chili has been a popular dish for many years and the number of recipes for it are increasing all the time as people continue to experiment. Often, the original dish is prepared beyond recognition in the never ending search for improvement. While this chili recipe is fairly standard and true to the original creation, its accompaniments are far from being standard. A fried egg is perhaps not that unusual but Indian naan breads instead of rice make for an interesting and tasty change from the conventional. The dish was also deliberately prepared in a quantity that would produce leftovers to be incorporated in a different recipe the following evening. If you wish to make it serve two at the time of preparation, simply cook two fried eggs and four mini naans.

Chili with Fried Egg and Naan Breads
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Easy homemade chili served with a fried egg and mini naan breads

Ingredients (Serves 1 with Leftovers)

  • 1 pound ground (minced) beef
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • 8 ounce can red kidney beans in water
  • 1/4 bottle full bodied red wine
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 mini garlic and cilantro (coriander leaf) naan breads
  • Sliced basil leaves to garnish


Prepared Veg for Chili
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Prepared vegetables for chili

Cut the bell pepper in half and remove the core, seeds and membrane. Slice to a thickness of around a quarter of an inch. Top, seed and finely slice the red chili. The garlic cloves should be peeled and very finely sliced or diced.

Toasting Cumin Seeds
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Toasting cumin seeds

If you prefer, you could simply use half a teaspoon of already ground cumin seeds and eliminate this step. I find, however, that by toasting the cumin seeds in this way and grinding them at the time, they impart a lightly stronger and more interesting flavor to the finished dish. All you do is take a small, dry frying pan (no oil!) and bring it up to a high heat. Add the cumin seeds to the pan and shake them around every ten seconds or so. After about a minute at most, you will smell them cooking and it is at this point they are ready. Take them immediately off the heat and crush them with a pestle and mortar. Alternatively, you may have an electric spice grinder which you wish to use instead.

Peppers added to Browned Beef
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Peppers, garlic and seasonings are added to browned beef

Put the ground beef in to a large pot and on to a low heat. Break the beef up with a wooden spoon and stir it around the pan. As the fat starts to be released, slowly increase the heat until the beef strands are all separated and it is evenly browned and sealed. Add the bell pepper, chili, garlic and cumin. Season with some salt and pepper and saute for about a further couple of minutes.

Tomatoes and Beans added to Chili
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Tomatoes and beans are added to spiced beef

Empty the canned kidney beans in to a colander in your sink and wash off the canning impurities under running cold water. Add them to the pot with the canned tomatoes and stir well.

Chili is Brought to a Simmer
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Chili is brought to a simmer

Pour the red wine in to the pot and stir again. Turn up the heat until the liquid in the pot just starts to simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally. Take your egg from the fridge to let it get up to room temperature before it is fried.

Frying Egg
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Frying the egg for topping the chili

When the chili is ready, turn off the heat and move the pot to a cool part of your stove for a few minutes to let it rest and start cooling. Wipe a small frying pan with a little vegetable oil using kitchen paper and put it on to reach a medium to high heat. You don't need any liquid oil in the pan; the film created by wiping it is sufficient to fry the egg to perfection.

Break the egg in to a small bowl or cup and season with a little salt and pepper before pouring it carefully in to the center of the pan. After about twenty to thirty seconds and when you can see the egg is holding its shape, reduce the heat to low to medium and cook for approximately three minutes, until you can see that the white is set all the way up to and around the yolk. The egg at this stage will be perfectly fried sunny side up.

Re-heat the naan breads per the instructions on the pack. This is usually done in a low oven or under your broiler (kitchen grill).

Chili and Egg are Plated
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Fried egg is laid on plated chili and garnished with basil

Spoon or ladle half the chili in to the center of a deep serving plate. Lift the fried egg on top. Roll and finely slice 2 or 3 basil leaves to garnish. Cut each naan bread in half and lay around the chili.

Storing the Leftover Chili

Chili in Foil Lined Dish
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Cooled leftover chili is added to foil lined dish

The leftover chili - should you have any - should firstly be covered and left to cool completely. It will then have to be refrigerated but be careful about adding it to just any container. A glass or stone bowl is ideal but if using a plastic dish, you will firstly need to protect the dish or it will become irrevocably stained. An easy way of doing this is to begin by lining the dish with aluminum foil, making sure you have a reasonable overhang and that it doesn't become torn.

Foil Wrapped Chili
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Foil is made to cover leftover chili before it is refrigerated

Spoon the chili in to the foil lined dish, fold the foil over to cover, place the lid on the dish and refrigerate until required. It will easily keep in the fridge for a couple of days. It could also be deep frozen like this and stored for up to three months.