Vegetarian Chili

During my travels, I am always pleasantly surprised at getting to taste some of the best foods at the most unusual locations.

Last summer when were shuttling between our hotel at Huntsville and exploring the wilderness at Algonquin park, we chanced upon a restaurant called 3 guys and a stove. The unusual name intrigued us so much that we had to try it out. To our surprise it was a fine dining restaurant by a celebrity chef. Needless to say the food was awesome. After a whole day of rugged adventure, our stomachs just needed that extra pampering.

This year we discovered another gem right inside Algonquin Park. Post noon, we were famished and hoped to grab a quick snack at the Algonquin Visitor Center. We were surprised that the cafeteria there had huge selection of meals to choose from. The food was fresh and very tasty. The best discovery was the vegetarian chili. A big bowlful keep me happy and full for most part of the day.

I have tried to recreate similar flavor in my home kitchen. I did browse through many recipes and this version of mine is a culmination of all those ideas and my Indian pantry making it a Indo-American fusion. The result was more than my expectations. The chili developed rich deep flavors and so finger licking good that it was completely wiped out.

I served the chili with toasted bread and my own take at garlic butter. Daughter preferred hers with a extra dollop of yogurt to cool down the heat. We squeezed a wedge of lime on ours.


1 cup of kidney beans
1 large onion chopped
2 carrots, one chopped, one grated
2 large tomatoes chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, grated
1 heaped tsp of cumin pdr
1 heaped tsp of Kashmiri chili pdr
1 tbsp. of cocoa pdr
2 tsp of GF soya sauce
2 tbsp of tomato ketchup
2 tbsp. of jaggery/ molasses
zest of 1 lime

Soak the kidney beans overnight and pressure cooked with some salt till done or you can just open a can of beans.
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp. of oil.
Add in the onions and sauté till pink.
Stir in the garlic next followed by the carrots.
Sprinkle some salt and let the vegetables sweat.
Now toss in the tomatoes and cook till they get pulpy.
Grind a handful of kidney beans to a paste and set aside.
Add the remaining kidney beans with their water to the saucepan.
Now add the ground bean paste to bulk up the base of the gravy.
Season with chili pdr and cumin pdr.
Add in the cocoa pdr, soya sauce, ketchup and jaggery.
Let this simmer for 15 -20 mins.
Keep tasting to adjust all the seasoning. The chili should be spicy and little sweet.
Lastly add the zest of lime.

The crazy additions of cocoa and soya sauce takes this chili to a whole new level. Jaggery added a further depth of flavor.

Garlic Butter
2 tbsp. of butter at room temp
1 large clove of garlic, grated
dash of pepper
zest of lime

Mix all the ingredients together and use as a spread on the toast.

My Indian Friends can also try this recipe as Rajma with a twist.




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