Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected places at the most unexpected time. I posted my lentil bolognese not long ago here, and I was wondering how I could make my chili less boring. I was going through my recipes from 2019 to make a post about them, and then suddenly I got it. Instead of the usual soy meat replacements, I could use lentils. They are a great source of protein for vegans and make the chili more filling. The sad news is you can't make a small portion of chili, but the good news is that you can freeze them for up to 1 month.
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 small jalapeno, sliced, without seeds
- 1 cup lentil, rinsed in cold water
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- 1 can sweet corn
- 1-2 dl tomato juice
- 3 dl veggie broth
- to taste salt, ground pepper
- 1 tsp jabanero sauce
- 2 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin seed
- 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- vegan sour cream
- 2 tbs smoked paprika powder
- 1 dl red wine
- Heat up the oil in a large pot over medium heat. I recommend using a bigger pot than you think you’ll need because the lentils grow much bigger than you’d think. Sauté the onion until translucent, then add garlic. Then remove from heat and stir in paprika powder, salt and pepper. Always remove it from the heat when stirring in paprika powder or it will burn easily, making the food bitter.
- Add diced bell pepper and jalapeno to the pot. Season with chili powder and cumin. Stir for 1-2 minutes, then add diced tomatoes and veggie broth, stir well and cover until it starts to boil.
- Then add lentils and reduce the heat, cover again and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Don’t over cook the lentils yet, enough if they are mostly tender. Next add kidney beans and black beans, stir to combine and reduce the heat to low and cover, cook until lentils are tender. Finally add the corn, mix well, adjust seasoning if you need to and cover again, cook for 5 more minutes. Then turn off the head, add the wine and let the flavors come together while the chili cools a little.
- Serve it in bowl, top with vegan sour cream and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
You can serve it with nacho chips, tortilla, rice. My parents eat it with bread, which is a very Hungarian thing to do, you can try. 😉
Photo: Imola Toth