Lentil Chili

Everyone should know how to make a good Chilli. It is one of the first things I made when giving up meat. A student staple, most people know how to make a good chili, but here is mine and I love eating this.

It is winter here in Oz and I must have been here a while because for the first time in 9 years, I think the winter is cold. In fact I think it is DAMN cold. So cold that I fear I am becoming delusional and believe England never got this cold. Good old beautiful hot English sun tanning Winters.

Anyway, a good Chili is needed to warm me up. As with a lot of vegan versions, I use lentils here to replace the meat and a smoked paprika to give that meat feel. You won’t miss it if you make it with a good stock and keep the kidney beans in place.

As far as accompaniments are concerned, this goes well with rice, baked potatoes or as I had, a good vegan cornbread.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small leek (or half a large one)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red pepper (capsicum), diced
  • 2 – 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 red chili pepper, chopped (don’t deseed ya weakling!)
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can diced/chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 500ml veg stock (you can use readymade/cubes but I recommend making your own)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Small handful coriander, chopped (plus extra to garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon Chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lime, to serve

Cook it:

  1. Heat a large casserole dish (or similar) over a medium high heat and add the oil
  2. Add the onion, leek, carrot, pepper and celery and fry for 5 minutes
  3. Add the chopped garlic and chili for another minute
  4. Add all the dried spices and fry for a further 2 minutes
  5.  Add the lentils and stir altogether
  6. Make a space in the middle of the pan and add the tomato paste. Fry for a few seconds to get rid of the bitterness
  7. Fold in the veg and lentils and mix together
  8. Add the kidney beans, chopped tomatoes and veg stock
  9. Keep stirring and turn the heat high. As soon as it starts boiling, lower and simmer for about an hour. You will probably need to add some more water (stock is even better if you have some more) as you go. Just because the lentils drink up all the liquid, doesn’t mean it is ready. This needs about an hour for all the flavours to make like Marvin and get it on
  10. When you have the perfect consistency, add the chopped coriander and squeeze in the lime
  11. Prepare to be warmed. Perhaps a little too much. Maybe you should have deseeded the chili. Nahh…….

Chili right

Recommended Tunes:

Gary Clark JR - Blak and Blu

Gary Clark Jr. “Blak and Blu”

I don’t usually link the food to the place it originates from but here, the record is perfect. Gary originates from Texas, is authentic but with a definite modern twist. Warming, soulful, blues. Very much not a vegan but that is cool, when you play guitar this well, I am not saying a bad word against you.

One of the few modern records I REALLY like.

Get on it.

Listen – but do yourself a favour and buy it on vinyl!!
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