Vegetarian Chilli

A healthy alternative to meat chilli, this dish tastes better if made in advance – the ingredients mingle together and produce a richer flavour.

Difficulty: 👍👍

Cost: ££

Serves 3 people


1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable (or olive) oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 green chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped (or ½ tsp chilli powder, if preferred)
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
225g/8 oz red lentils
1/2pt /10 fl oz vegetable stock
14oz tin chopped tomatoes
14oz tin red kidney beans, drained
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Large pinch of sugar (optional)
Black pepper and salt

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Using a wooden spoon, stir and fry over a low heat for 8 minutes till the onion is soft but not brown.
  2. Add the garlic and chilli pepper. Stir and fry for another couple of minutes.
  3. Stir in the spices and the bay leaf. Add the lentils and fry them with the onions for a couple of minutes until they are thoroughly mixed in and coated with the spices.
  4. Then add the puree, tinned tomatoes, kidney beans and stock, mix well and bring back up to the boil. Turn the heat right down, cover the pan and let it simmer for at least half an hour. Check it during this time, if it seems too dry add a little vegetable stock
  5. Taste and season to your liking.

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Using a wooden spoon, stir and fry over a low heat for 8 minutes till the onion is soft but not brown.
  2. Add the garlic and chilli pepper. Stir and fry for another couple of minutes.
  3. Stir in the spices and the bay leaf. Add the lentils and fry them with the onions for a couple of minutes until they are thoroughly mixed in and coated with the spices.
  4. Then add the puree, tinned tomatoes, kidney beans and stock, mix well and bring back up to the boil. Turn the heat right down, cover the pan and let it simmer for at least half an hour. Check it during this time, if it seems too dry add a little vegetable stock
  5. Taste and season to your liking.

Ingredients

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable (or olive) oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 green chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped (or ½ tsp chilli powder, if preferred)
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
225g/8 oz red lentils
1/2pt /10 fl oz vegetable stock
14oz tin chopped tomatoes
14oz tin red kidney beans, drained
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Large pinch of sugar (optional)
Black pepper and salt


Serve with boiled rice, or as a topping on jacket potatoes.

Be very careful when chopping fresh chillies as the juice can irritate eyes, lips or other sensitive areas – scrub your fingers immediately after contact or avoid contact by using a fork or wearing latex gloves.

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