Spicy vegetarian chili holds a special place in my heart because it’s the first thing I ever cooked for my hubby! If you’ve read my allergy love story, you will know that our first date ended in the hospital due to an anaphylactic reaction (sesame). We were college students, and it was a pretty scary experience not only for us but also for our friends. They were incredibly supportive after my reaction, and even came to pick us up at the hospital. As a thank you for taking care of me, I decided to prepare an allergy friendly vegetarian meal, featuring spicy vegetarian chili.
And how did my hubby (boyfriend of one week at the time) find it? I can remember this so clearly — he thought it looked like dog food!! Luckily it didn’t taste like it 🙂
Eight years later the chili has been refined and reworked into a dish I am very excited to share with you all! When I first started preparing this dish, it was pretty much root veggies, beans, stewed tomatoes, chili powder, and onions thrown into a dish and baked for an hour. Now it is cooked on the stove top and the consistency of the dish has been refined using the beans two ways: in their full form and mashed.
The mashed beans thicken the chili whereas before it was too saucy. Now you won’t even realize it’s meat free because it’s a thick and hearty chili.
Spicy? spicy vegetarian chili
I think this chili is spicy; but you may not! This is why it is important to taste test as you cook. I add half the chili powder at the start and the second half at the end so I can control the spice. The Indian chef Smita Chandra calls this refreshing the dish; when you re-spice just before serving. This is key to getting the flavour just right.
If you are like us, we try and make sure to eat vegetarian a couple of nights a week. Along with warm lentil salad, this spicy vegetarian chili is a favorite in our house. You can serve it with salad, over chips or my favorite with brown rice, grated cheese, and sour cream!