Brown the beef in a large pot or dutch oven. Drain beef.
Add the spices (with the exception of the masa) and stir in thoroughly. Add tomato sauce and water. If desired add 1 (14 ounce) can of beans. Reduce temperature to simmer.
SSimmer for about 30 minutes. If you want to thicken the chili, mix the masa in a 1/4 cup of hot water. Stir the masa until smooth. Pour the masa mixture into the chili. Cook until the chili thickens and serve.