Chili is perfect in cold weather when you're looking for warmth and comfort. For me, this vegetarian chili is perfect, and sure does tick all the boxes. It's got lots of layers of flavor starting with vegetables, followed by lentils and then beans, all brought together with lots of tomatoes and warm spices. All the simmering is time well-spent, making this the most wonderful blend of simple ingredients. Enjoy it with rice, mashed potatoes, or a good piece of toast. —Chetna Makan
Heat the oil in a deep sauté pan, and add the onions. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the chopped celery, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chopped red pepper and cook for 5 minutes more.
In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic and green chili with a pinch of salt until you get a paste (or use a small food processor). Add this paste to the pan, and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Next add the tomato purée and chopped tomatoes and mix well, then add the lentils and spices and stir to coat.
Pour in the stock and stir again. Cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes until the lentils are slightly cooked.
Add the rinsed kidney beans and black beans to the pan with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Stir in the sugar and chopped coriander leaves, mix well, and serve warm.