In a large pot, heat the oil or water on medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook until the onions are translucent and soft, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Push the onions and peppers to the side of the pot and add the garlic and spices to the pot and stir until the spices release their oils and become fragrant (don’t overcook), approximately 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, water, soy sauce, beans, jackfruit, and cayenne (optional). Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for approximately 2 hours, or until the chili begins to thicken. Whisk the cornmeal and water together in a cup and add to the chili with the fresh thyme and cilantro. Add the salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and cook for 15 minutes. If you want the jackfruit to be more of a shredded texture, use two forks and shred the pieces.