Proper chilli

Chilli I already have a favourite chilli recipe courtesy of the Low-GI Vegetarian Cookbook, but being a massive fan of Anna Jones’ a modern way to eat, I couldn’t resist having a ‘chilli-off’ to see whether I could be converted. While the low-GI Best Ever Chilli is packed full of the usual ingredients you’d expect to find in a veggie chilli recipe (lentils, kidney beans, pepper etc), Anna’s chilli heads down a very different route, bulking out the dish with a variety of grains, alongside puy lentils and haricot beans. The result, a much lighter, but equally filling bowl of loveliness. And if that’s not enough to tempt you to try this recipe, what about the fact that it uses not one, not two, but three different types of chilli in it? Oh, and it’s dead simple to make too. Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • A thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red or green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, bashed
  • 1 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 3 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 300g Puy lentils (I used a can, but I think you’re supposed to use dried lentils)
  • 100g bulgar wheat
  • 100g quinoa
  • 1x400g tin haricot beans
  • 1-2 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Add a splash of oil to your largest pan and soften the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the chilli powder and cumin seeds and stir around in the pan for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the chilli ingredients, stirring as you go – add 1 litre of stock to start with, and keep the rest to hand, adding as you go if the chilli starts to look a bit dry.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer for 30-35 minutes, until the lentils are cooked.
  4. Eat.

We ate ours with a dollop of sour cream, mashed avocado with lime juice and charred corn tortillas. The verdict from the husband: ‘I think I prefer the other one. Actually, no I don’t. Actually, I don’t know…..’ The verdict from the cook: ‘It’s so much lighter than a full on lentil and bean chilli, which I prefer.’ It’s a good thing I like it, and the husband thinks he does – we’ve got enough leftovers to feed a small army!


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