Unique ingredients that can be added to chili include honey, cactus, cornmeal or chocolate. Add a tablespoon or two of honey or a pinch of sugar to sweeten the chili taste. Adding baking chocolate brings out a smokey flavor in the chili, while cactus creates a tart taste.
Cornmeal thickens the chili, giving it a polenta-like texture. Using dried chili peppers rather than chili powder results in a spicier chili. Simply toast chipotles, guajillos or anchos, grind them in a coffee grinder, and add to the chili.
Better Homes & Gardens offers world flavors of chili with unique ingredients. For a Mediterranean style chili, combine garbanzo beans with grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta cheese and lemon zest. Those who want a Caribbean flavor, add mango and golden raisins to smooth out the taste of habenero pepper. Add fresh pumpkin, dried cranberries and fresh jalapeño peppers to turkey chili for a spin on classic slow cooker chili. Those looking to add an Indian flavor should make a mix of curry, apples, almonds, cocoa powder and cinnamon to add to beef chili. Black-eyed peas are an often overlooked easy addition to vegetarian chili. Adding a variety of beans adds texture, color and unique flavors to a typical recipe.