Purple kale & chilli de agua tacos

Purple kale & chilli de agua tacos

Chris Middleton

Vibrant veggie street eats are a great way to start a dinner party fiesta. ‘Chilli de agua’, also known as bullhorn chillies, are sweet and subtle, great on the barbecue or in a quick stir-fry. Sure, kale is a rather overexposed superfood but it’s also one of our most versatile brassicas – prepared as a savoury stew inspired by Mexican rajas poblanos, it’s both comforting and nutritious. The impressive-looking but easy-to-prepare crispy kale topping acts as a great sponge for the salty cheese.


Quantity Ingredient
1 bunch purple kale, stalks removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 large salad onion, finely sliced
1 bunch oregano leaves, chopped
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch ground allspice
2 jalapenos
6 assorted bullhorn chillies, cut into thin rounds, (see Latin Larder)
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons agave syrup
250ml Adobo sauce
8-12 Tortilla dough, small homemade masa tortillas
or store-bought tortillas
175g salted ricotta or feta, chopped

Crispy kale spice mix

Quantity Ingredient
olive oil spray
pinch salt
pinch garlic powder
pinch ground cumin
pinch chilli powder
pinch smoked paprika


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil, add half the kale and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and refresh in ice-cold water for 2 minutes, then drain and squeeze dry. Roughly chop and refrigerate until required.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, herbs and spices and fry for 2–3 minutes, until the onions start to soften, then add the jalapeños and bullhorn chillies and fry for a further 2 minutes. Pour over the sherry vinegar and agave syrup, bring to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes, or until reduced and syrupy. Add the cooked kale and adobo sauce and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste and leave to cool.
  4. Add the remaining kale to a bowl, spray lightly with olive oil and toss together with the salt, garlic powder and spices.
  5. Arrange the kale on the prepared baking tray, leaving space between the individual leaves, and bake for 30 minutes until crisp, turning the tray around after 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.
  6. Heat a medium non-stick pan over high heat. Lightly spray with oil and briefly fry the tortillas to warm them. Stack the tortillas, wrap in a warm damp tea towel and set aside to keep warm.
  7. To serve, place the tortillas onto serving plates and top with the kale and pepper stew. Scatter over the crispy kale leaves and cheese and serve immediately.

* Tip

  • If you’re craving some more protein, add 250 g of cooked pinto beans or cooked shredded chicken meat to the mixture.
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