indian chili

Indian Spiced Chili

Apparently G thinks this is the best meal I’ve ever made.  He also says it’s not chili.  I think I’ll let him be half right in that case because I’m calling it chili–so there!

But in all seriousness, this chili (or stew or curry or whatever you want to call it) is out of this world good–and it’s about as simple as you can get. (A minor miracle for me given my propensity to cook more elaborate dishes that take more hours than a Monday night post-work can give me.)

Taking the basic idea of an all-American chili (onions, beans, spices, tomatoes), this Indian Spiced Chili layers Indian spices like curry, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala with chickpeas, butternut squash, tomatoes, corn (all the veg from our garden or the farmers market!) and a dash of heat. While it could almost pass for something like a curry, I think it does have that slow cooked, comfort food feeling of chili–something perfect for winter.

Be sure to set aside an hour or two for the chili to simmer and have vegan sour cream or yogurt on hand for a garnish–its little bit of creamy coolness goes a long way for rounding out the dish. Serve by itself or with naan or some rice and you’re good to go for a one pot, weeknight meal!

Indian Spiced Chili

Olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tsp hot curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 1.5 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2″ chunks
2 14 oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
32 oz whole or diced tomatoes
16 oz vegetable broth
16 oz water
2 c corn kernels (frozen is ok)
1 tbsp garam masala
salt & pepper to taste
Vegan sour cream or yogurt to garnish

In a Dutch oven or large pot, warm 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add all the spices (except the garam masala) and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Next, add the butternut squash chunks, chickpeas, tomatoes, vegetable broth, and water. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook 1-2 hours, until the chili has thickened.

Add the corn and garam masala, stir, and simmer a final 10 minutes to allow all the flavors to meld.

Adjust seasonings as necessary, add salt & pepper to taste.

Garnish with vegan sour cream or yogurt, serve with naan or rice.

Serves 6

19 Responses to “Indian Spiced Chili”
  1. Caitlin says:

    this looks so.good. i love the indian spices in this one and that you used chickpeas! usually, chili makes my tummy unhappy, and i think it’s the abundance of black beans/pinto beans. but i think my tummy would handle this one just fine ;)

    • Jes says:

      I’m in the same boat as you–beans aren’t always the nicest on my tummy either. The chickpeas seemed to work out ok though! If you’re starting with dried beans, definitely soak a day or two.

  2. Ooh this looks wonderful, Jes! I’d call it a chili! I’d call it whatever you want as long as I get to eat a bowl! :D

  3. Eileen says:

    This does look really good–so hearty and spicy and clearly perfect for winter. I don’t know if I would have called this a chili, or a dal, or maybe just a soup, but as long is it’s good, I’m good too. :)

  4. FoodFeud says:

    Aaah! I’m honestly not a huge fan of normal chili (in whatever definition) but I love Indian spices and warm meals in a bowl. This sounds fantastic, especially with the squash. I’ll totally be making this soon! (bookmarked among all the other soups of the season ;))

  5. Chrissy says:

    Good timing! I have a butternut squash sitting on my counter AS WE SPEAK (or, er, type). Looking forward to trying this recipe out!

  6. Man, I love a good chili recipe! Do you think this would work in the crock pot? Would I need to pan-fry the onions and spices first, or could I just throw it all in there? Crock pot chili is one of my favorite things to make on a winter Sunday – we can eat it all week long!

    • Jes says:

      Oh yeah, I think this would be super easy in the crock pot. I never use mine, but I bet if you put it on low and let it go for awhile, it’d work perfectly.

  7. Monika says:

    Oh, this looks so good! I’ve been sick, and therefore unable to eat anything beyond a safe, bland diet the past two or three weeks. Once I’m able to venture out beyond sticky rice and mashed potatoes, I’m giving this a try!

  8. Ooh how I love indian spices in everything. And butternut squash is such a good call! Speaking of Indian food, have you ever tried sambar? It’s a vegetable and lentil soup that I absolutely adore. If you get a chance, you should definitely try it!

    • Jes says:

      Sambar is fantastic! I’ve never made it though, just ordered it at restaurants. It’s definitely a recipe I should try my hand at.

  9. Barbara says:

    Wow, that is a simply super bowl of “chili,” Jes. I love the Indian spices and the addition of corn. And everything tastes better with a bit of butternut squash in there. I am definitely going to make this one for the new year. Yum!

  10. Mel says:

    This is perfect timing, I’m going try it out tonight. I was tossing up Indian curry ideas but wasn’t feeling inspired by anything particular until coming across your recipe. I’ll have to make a few vegetable subs to fit in with what I have on hand but I definitely have all the right spices.

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