#12 Chile: Vegetarian Charquican

Charquican chile-flag

When it’s cold outside you can’t beat coming indoors to enjoy comfort foods like mashed potato and squash, and the gentle warmth that comes through a dish that uses just the right amount of chilli. This vegetarian version of Charquican (a Chilean beef stew that is slow-cooked with beef and potatoes) does just that.

This recipe has the added advantage of being very easy to make, which was just what I needed with so much else to do in the run up to Christmas! It also has great natural flavour from the vegetables, which are not overwhelmed by the spices, and is definitely recommended with fried eggs.


  • 3 medium potatoes (450g) diced
  • 1/2 large butternut squash (450g) diced
  • 4 large carrots, diced
  • Knob of butter
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • 110g frozen sweetcorn
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 heaped tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • handful of fresh chopped coriander
  • 2 red onions, chopped (fine to medium)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 200g green beans, sliced into 1cm pieces


  1. Boil the potatoes, butternut squash and carrots in salted water until soft.
  2. Drain and then mash the vegetables together with a knob of butter, a drizzle of olive oil and plenty of ground black pepper, aiming for a consistency that is still a little rough rather than completely smooth.
  3. Fry the red onion, garlic and red pepper in olive oil until they start to soften.
  4. Add the chopped beans and frozen sweetcorn and saute for a further few minutes, before adding the chopped tomato and coriander.
  5. Stir in the cumin, paprika, chilli and oregano to coat the vegetables in the spices.
  6. Gently simmer for a few more minutes, before adding the potato, squash and carrot mash to the pan and mixing together well.
  7. Serve immediately accompanied by a fried egg, with chopped parsley and sliced spring onions sprinkled on top.

Acknowledgement: This recipe is slightly adapted from one I found on the Wanderlust magazine web site.


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