Chili is one of the most standard recipes out there. It’s beans, tomatoes, meat, and chili powder, stewed together for a while, and then topped with a dollop of sour cream and eaten on a cold winter night. However, it also happens to be one of the most deviated recipes in the books, and boy, do people have strong opinions about chili. Some are meat and tomato purists, while others will allow a few beans to sneak into their chili. Chili also differs on how it is spiced and how aggressively it is spiced. Some like a little burn, some (myself included) hate spicy things, and others just get interpretive with their spices.
Take, for instance, a chili made by someone else that I tried recently. It contained a ton of fatty Jimmy Dean sausage which should have made it seem oily, but instead just made it rich and delicious. It contained no chili power, or any other spices for that matter. Instead it was aggressively seasoned with thyme. Who would have thought to put thyme in their chili? I don’t know. It was good, and very different from my mother’s version (tomatoes, lots of beans, a little venison sausage, some chili powder), but it made me a little queasy after all that fatty meat.
If you have read my about me page, you would know (but might have forgotten) that I am not the hugest fan of meat. I saw this recipe in Smitten Kitchen‘s archives and I thought it would be a interesting new stew-y recipe (bonus points for being vegetarian). When I made it, my mother called it the Indian Chili. Oh well. I guess we’ll have to go with it.
red kidney bean curry
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
This curry is an amazing vegetarian main dish that is new and different, but also super comforting and delicious. Especially if you serve it with homemade naan.
1/3 cup olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced (up to 1/4 cup if you like it spicy)
3 small cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)
14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans kidney beans, undrained
Heat oil in a dutch oven. Add the ginger, onion, and garlic and let it cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, salt, and spices and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the kidney beans and a cup of water. Bring it back to a simmer and then let it cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Eat with naan and a scoop of yogurt.
easy homemade naan
adapted from Half Baked Harvest
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup hot water
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm milk
1 cup greek yogurt
melted butter, for cooking
In a medium bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Add the yeast and stir until it is dissolved. Let the mixture sit until the yeast starts to foam. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. When the yeast is foaming, whisk in the warm milk and yogurt. Pour the wet ingredients into the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly stir together until there are no longer any floury patches. However, be careful not to knead the dough excessively.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for an hour (I warm up my oven a bit and set it in there). It won’t rise that much, and that it okay.
Divide the dough into 8 equal shaped pieces and roll them out into 6-8 inch circles, no thinner than 1/4 inch. Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Brush with melted butter on both sides. Add a round of dough to the hot skillet, cover, and cook for 1 minute. The naan will puff up and have lots of bubbles. Flip the naan and cook 1-2 minutes on the other side until large toasted spots form. Keep the naan warm in a 200 degree oven.