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Warm and comforting, this Vegetarian Red Lentil Chili is all that you need to beat the cold!
So just few days back I posted how sunny it is here, well spoke too soon! It’s been raining non-stop and I haven’t seen the sun in 2 days now. Such dark, rainy and cold weather calls for comforting meal. For me comforting meal is one which can be cooked in a single pot, is wholesome and can me made easily with simple ingredients. When it’s so gloomy outside, I don’t really like cooking any other fancy stuff. One of my favorite comfort food during winters in chili. I love how easy it is and yet a complete meal in itself.
I often make the traditional chili, the vegetarian version of course but this time around I changed things up a bit and made this Lentil Chili.
I read somewhere that you can’t take dal (lentil) away from an Indian and that is so true. We eat lentil everyday, in some form or the other. My mom made sure I had 1 bowl full of dal everyday growing up. Now that I cook on my own, I don’t make it everyday but still at least 3 times a week. I think that’s still a lot. So yesterday I wanted to cook lentils like always and I also wanted to eat chili and so I combined the two and made this lentil chili. This is really healthy, delicious and super easy to make!
While making chili at home, if there’s one thing which I always use, it has to be Hunt’s and RO*TEL canned tomatoes. Using these products makes the whole process so much easier and that way I can have the dinner ready on the table in no time!
For this recipe I used Hunt’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes and Green Chili which I bought from my local Walmart. If you guys know me, then you know what I love my veggies. I thought it would be great to add some seasonal veggies to my lentil chili. Also it’s a great way to make my hubby eat veggies like zucchini which we wouldn’t eat otherwise.
I added zucchini, green pepper, onion and yellow pepper to this chili. You can add other veggies too, I think spinach and green peas would also work very well here. I got all the vegetables that I needed for this recipe in the fresh produce section of my local Walmart.
I used red lentils here but brown lentils would work just as well. This recipe makes quite a bit of lentil chili. We have been having it for dinner for 2 days now and there’s still some left!
In a pan heat oil on medium heat. Once oil is hot, add bay leaves and black peppercorns. Saute for 30 seconds.
Add diced zucchini, green pepper, yellow pepper and chopped onions. Cook for 6-7 minutes or till the veggies are soft and start turning brown in color.
Add chopped garlic and cinnamon stick and cook for 2 minutes or till the raw smell of garlic goes away.
Add Hunt’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Add the washed and drained red lentil and mix. Cook for 2 minutes.
Now add 8 cups of water, stir to combine. Also add salt, black pepper, cover and cook the lentil chili for 20-25 minutes or till lentils are softened and done.
Add red chili powder (cayenne), cumin powder and mix. Cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes.
Let the chili cool down a bit, remove bay leaves and then transfer half of it to a blender and blend to a smooth paste.
Transfer the pureed part to the pan again and simmer for 5 minutes.
Top the lentil chili with croutons, cilantro, scallions, cheese, sour cream or anything you fancy and enjoy! Squeezing in some lemon juice in optional but I love it!
* Adjust spice levels to taste. If you like spicy food, increase the amount of cayenne/red chili powder in this recipe.
You can find Hunt’s and RO*TEL canned tomatoes at Walmart. Also don’t forget to check out the fresh produce section while shopping at Walmart. I know with the days getting colder, we are looking for easy, quick and comforting recipes. Which one is your favorite?
- 1 zucchini medium, diced
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1 yellow pepper diced
- 1 red onion chopped
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ inch cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-6 black peppercorn
- 3-4 garlic cloves minced
- 1¾ cup red lentils
- 2 x 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes [I used Hunt's Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes]
- 10 oz can RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
- 8 cups water
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1 lemon juice
- In a pan heat oil on medium heat. Once oil is hot, add bay leaves and black peppercorns. Saute for 30 seconds.
- Add diced zucchini, green pepper, yellow pepper and chopped onions.
- Cook for 6-7 minutes or till the veggies are soft and start turning brown in color.
- Add chopped garlic and cinnamon stick and cook for 2 minutes or till the raw smell of garlic goes away.
- Add Hunt's Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the washed and drained red lentil and mix. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Now add 8 cups of water, stir to combine. Also add salt, black pepper, cover and cook the lentil chili for 20-25 minutes or till lentils are softened and done.
- Add red chili powder/cayenne, cumin powder and mix. Cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes.
- Let the chili cool down a bit, remove bay leaves and then transfer half of it to a blender and blend to a smooth paste.
- Transfer the pureed part to the pan again and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Top the lentil chili with croutons, cilantro, scallions, cheese, sour cream or anything you fancy and enjoy!
46 thoughts on “Lentil Chili”
Oh, fab! I love all the additional veggies you’ve squeezed into this! Lentils lend themselves so well to chili, I have a lentil chili recipe coming up too 🙂
Thanks Emma! Looking forward to your recipe 🙂
I love the creaminess of lentils in stews and curries and with the added kick of chilli this sounds like the perfect fall dinner! Delicious!
So delicious and comforting! I love your beautiful blue bowl too, Manali.
I don’t eat enough lentils, but I love them. This chili sounds so warm and comforting. It would be a great way to get my lentil fix!
Thank you Jen, lentils are awesome!
I love chilli so much, and the addition of lentils in this sounds like the perfect, comforting dish! So many great flavours. Love this Manali!
Seems like great minds think alike Manali hehe 😉 I also posted some thing on chili today and I love this take on classic chili!! I love lentil chili so I wish I had some right now for dinner!
Thanks Ami and yes great minds think alike! 😉
I love what you did with these products, Manali! This chili sounds phenomenal with the red lentils, fire roasted tomatoes, and green chiles in the Rotel. Chili is the best cold weather food!
Thanks Marcie, glad you liked it 🙂
Looks very delicious and comforting
Thank you dear!
Chili is the ultimate comfort food when it’s cold, love this lentil chili! It looks so comforting and delicious!
This chili looks so delicious and comforting, Manali! I love that you used lentils!