Indian-Style Smoky Black Bean Chili
1 1/2 cups of dried black beans, soaked overnight
4 cups of water
a generous handful of serrano, jalapenos and green chilies, seeded and minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
small handful of dried curry leaves
1/2 cup of fresh parsley or coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
dash or two of asafoetida powder
1 tablespoon of chili powder
dash of cayenne
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, and chopped
2 cups of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of bulgur wheat, soaked in 1/3 cup of hot water for 10 minutes
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
Drain the beans. In a large pot, combined the drained beans, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, add the peppers, ginger, curry leaves and half of the parsley. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover and simmer for about 1 - 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender.
Puree a small portion of the beans with a hand blender or transfer some of the beans to a blender, puree and return to the pot.
Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the seeds have darkened a few shades, toss the asafoetida into the pan, stir and immediately transfer to the cooked beans. Add the tomatoes to the beans, along with the bulgur and salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, for another 15 - 20 minutes.
Put the mustard seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat and cover. Shake the pan from time to time. When the seeds begin to pop, add the fennel seeds, cover and continue to fry until the seeds stop popping. Pour into the pot of beans, stir in the remaining parsley, cover and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
Serves 6 - 8.
Smoky Black Bean Chili
As cooler temperatures move into Canada, I begin to think once again of comfort food. And nothing speaks comfort like a warming bowl of chili. The smoky flavour in this dish comes from a blend of toasted cumin, mustard and fennel seeds. Of course, it's spicy too, as my regular readers have no doubt come to expect.