This recipe came originally from The Greens Cookbook, by Deborah Madison and Edward Espe Brown. I have made it countless times for family and friends, and simplified it for speed. It's a great dish to serve a crowd, or to bring to a family that needs comfort during an illness or when mourning a death. It is also the perfect chili for Super Bowl Sunday, satisfying vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Serve extra heat, chopped canned green chilies or hot sauce, for those who like a spicier chili. Since I cheer for the Packers, please serve with beer and have fried cheese curds on the side. —luvcookbooks
Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds after the pan is hot and heat until fragrant, about 30 to 45 seconds. Add the oregano leaves and cook, shaking the pan, about 30 seconds. The oregano leaves burn easily, so be careful. Off the heat, add the paprika and cayenne. Tip into a mortar and grind to a coarse powder.
In a large, deep saucepan, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until soft and translucent but not colored. Add the garlic, chopped chile, salt, pepper, tomatoes, black beans, and cilantro. Add water if needed to make a thick chili that will not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Bring chili to a boil, and then simmer for about 30 minutes.
Assemble garnishes, if you are using them. On a weeknight, I would skip the whole recipe if I felt that I had to make the garnishes, so I made them optional.
Serve over rice, or with cornbread or tortilla chips. Enjoy!