This Lentil Chilli recipe is a family favourite and a real crowd pleaser! Meat eaters won't even notice the lack of meat!
Its just delicious and so filling and its one of those dishes which is even better the next day!
I have adapted this recipe over the years and I'm confident that this version is the best.
There are a few unexpected ingredients including dark chocolate and mango chutney which give real depth of flavour and adds a lovely sweetness to balance the heat from the chilli.
I have as usual crammed lots of veggies into this dish, along with lots of beans and of course lentils so this chilli is just bursting with nutrition and literally supports every body system!
I usually serve it with Guacamole which adds even more good fats and vitamins and a cooling yoghurt based dip with mint, coriander, cucumber and lime.
We are a very divided family when it comes to hot and spicy food. Alastair and Emma love hot food and the rest of us are total wimps so I usually compromise and make ours medium hot!
The chilli lovers can always add extra chilli at the end!
This is a great weekend dish and can be served with rice, tortillas, toasted pitta breads or with baked potatoes for a wee change.
I tend to use tinned beans which are just so handy although I do also cook batches of beans in my pressure cooker if I'm really organised!
I use dried green lentils for this dish but puy or brown lentils work equally well. I cook them first in twice their volume of water for 15 to 20 minutes, then add them to the chilli. I cup of lentils will yield 2 cups of cooked lentils and I generally add them all but if I'm using tinned lentils then I just use one tin since they are quite expensive!
The frozen peas and sweetcorn are optional although they add a splash of colour and extra vitamins and fibre.
I tend to add spinach to most of my dishes. Its just so easy, wilts in minutes and adds so much extra nutrition. Always add it at the end and just mix it in, don't carry on cooking it or you'll destroy some of the valuable antioxidants which boost our immune system and help us to fight disease. You can quite easily freeze spinach and just add it frozen. It will thaw in minutes.
A couple of squares of good quality dark chocolate and a couple of spoonfuls of mango chutney make all the difference to the flavour of the chilli.
Cumin, turmeric, garlic, cayenne, chilli and mustard add a real depth and heat!
I really hope you give this a go. I'm convinced it will become a firm favourite!
We had this last night and it easily fed 7 of us with fairly large portions! If you are using just one tin of lentils then obviously it will feed less. That's one of the reasons I cook my own lentils, it's way cheaper and you can add double the amount! For folks with smaller appetites this could feed up to 10, if you serve it with rice, tortillas, pittas, guacamole and yoghurt dip!
Please leave me a comment if you try it!
So here is the recipe.....
BEST EVER LENTIL CHILLI
Ingredients Serves 6 to 8
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