The Introvert Kitchen’s Chili con Carne

We love Chili con Carne here at home and I normally cooked it once a month. When I stumbled on some write-ups and other recipes and it does mention adding dark chocolate in it, I immediately thought of incorporating the very Pinoy ”tablea” or pure cacao tablets to my own recipe. The result? More tasty chili con carne with deeper and more enhanced flavor!


  • 500 grams minced/ground beef or 50/50 pork & beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 7 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 2 pieces beef cubes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 300 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 1 can red beans, washed and drained
  • 2 pieces pure cacao tablets
  • 1 medium-sized green bell pepper/green paprika, diced
  • about two tablespoons of olive oil for sauteing


  1. Start with sauteing the onions until translucent before adding the garlic. Add also the tomatoes, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and allow to breakdown.
  2. Add the ground meat followed with the salt, ground black pepper. Mix. Then add in the ground dried chilies and cinnamon powder plus the beef cubes. Mix to combine then cover and allow to cook for few minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste then the water, cover again and allow to simmer on low heat for at least 30-45 minutes.
  4. Mix in the sugar, red beans, cacao tablets and the diced green bell pepper. Do the taste-test at this point and if you want to add something, do it now. Stir and cover again to simmer for another 15 minutes.
  5. Serve with rice or whatever accompaniment you prefer. Enjoy! 🙂

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The star ingredient – 100% cacao tablets we called tablea/tableya


  • If you like more spicy chili con carne, add more paprika and cayenne pepper
  • If tablea is not available, dark chocolate (at least 70%) will be a good substitute
  • Slow cook your chili con carne for at least 1 hour or longer (2-3 hours) to allow the flavor to develop

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