Monday, January 26, 2009

Vegetarian Chili with pinto beans

Snow is not a frequent occurrence in our city and when it does make an appearance, things come to a complete standstill. We got such an occasion recently and all the offices and schools in our city closed down and we got an opportunity to enjoy one day of snow break.Since driving was not advised, I  was forced to manage with the stuff I had at hand. So when  I found myself in the kitchen, either making something or planning for the rest of the day I happily congratulated myself for stocking everything and on being able to manage for a couple of days, if not more, without a run to the grocery store. That is until..... I discovered that I was running low on salt of all things.....I could not believe it..I searched high and low in my pantry sure that the additional container of salt that I always keep in my pantry was just behind that one pack of poha or peanuts...but no such luck. I really was running low on salt...what a nightmare !

I always keep a spare container of salt in my pantry, apparently the one time I have failed to replenish it, turned out to be the one time I could not go out and replenish it either....pah ! So for the entire day and half of the next that I could not get salt, I used what I had as if the grains of salt were made of  gold. I measured and remeasured the salt while using it and saw to it that not even one grain spilled out and got wasted. What happened?....well luckily for me the salt did last, although I had to come up with some creative solutions  like using salt only on the part of the idli batter that I was using immediately and leaving the rest of the batter unsalted.The next evening when the roads were open again, I headed to the grocery the first chance I got, to pick up salt. The moral of the story....... if you are expecting a snow storm avoid the mistake I made and keep your pantry well stocked with vital ingredients like salt. :-)

Now moving on from possible culinary disaster to vegetarian chili, which  is one of my favorites and is perfect for the chilly wintry days we are currently experiencing. I tried this variation with pinto beans just for a change and thoroughly enjoyed it. Give this a try when you are looking for something hearty, wholesome and spicy...




Ingredients and Method to make Vegetarian Chili with Pinto beans

2 medium yellow onions (cut fine)
2 large green bell pepper (capsicum) (remove seeds and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
1 1/2 cup pinto beans dry (soaked overnight)
2 large tomatoes (cut fine)

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp minced garlic
2 bay leaves
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp red chili powder (optional) (or according to taste)

1 tbsp oil 

Soak dry pinto beans with plenty of water and a pinch of soda ( the soda is optional) overnight.

Rinse the soaked beans in fresh water and place in a large heavy bottomed pan with fresh water and simmer until cooked. Keep aside

Alternatively pressure cook the soaked beans with fresh water until soft but not mushy. Keep aside.

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil add onions and saute until transparent.

Add tomatoes and saute until tomatoes are soft and mushy.

Add dry powders, bay leaves and stir for a few seconds.

Add green bell pepper and water as required and cook until bell peppers are half cooked.

To this add the cooked pinto beans , water as required and simmer the entire mixture together with salt to taste for about fifteen to twenty minutes.

Served hot with cornbread to make a complete meal.

Notes:

You can use equal quantities of red kidney beans (rajma) instead of pinto beans and proceed with the rest of the recipe in the same manner.

If you like really very spicy chili you can add half or one full jalapeno to make it more spicy.

This chili is off to My Legume Love Affair, the seventh helping being hosted by Srivalli and originally started by Susan 

42 comments :

Curry Leaf said...

I can understand your nightmare.I went through the same 3 months ago,after which I always buy extra salt when the current tin reaches 3/4 mark.Otherwise ..
The chilli is my favourite too.I add jalapenos or chipotles in small qnty though.Perfect for winter .Looks :P great

Indhu said...

warm and comforting bowl of chili :)
I had a similar experience with salt... only, mine was worse than yours... I realized I was out of salt when I was in the middle of cooking... I had added everything except salt when I found that I had no salt left... You can imagine how the dish would have tasted :)

Indhu said...

warm and comforting bowl of chili :)
I had a similar experience with salt... only, mine was worse than yours... I realized I was out of salt when I was in the middle of cooking... I had added everything except salt when I found that I had no salt left... You can imagine how the dish would have tasted :)

Mangala Bhat said...

hey nice recipe ...will surely try this :) Thanks kanri nanna blog ge comment hakiddkke :)barta iri

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

veg chilli looks hearty and yummy Usha...

Sara said...

I love chili, and I think it's just as delicious without the meat!

Vibaas said...

Looks very yummy. I'm all for protein rich dishes :)

Ann said...

Looks spicy and tempting Usha.The combo surely will be a hit.

Varsha Vipins said...

Indeed a Nightmare..phew..:P
Lovely bowl looks like a comfort food..with some roti's..:)

A_and_N said...

Perfect for a cold day :) Thanks for the recipe!

Sharmila said...

It does look like rajma too. I made corn bread once ... but with eggs. Shall try your eggless version. :-)

Cham said...

Not only salt, I always stock up everything in CA is mandatory for emergency situtaion (earthquake zone)! Water, food can, etc..I ve been in ur situation many times in East coast! Looks good ur veg chilli

Vegetation said...

Mmm I love chilli (I actually have some on the stove right now) and yours looks fantastic! I'll have to try your version next time I make it.

Madhu said...

With the cold weather like this, bowl of chilli sounds warm and comforting.
Looks good usha..

Dershana said...

I've made soups with grilled bell peppers, but never tried adding beans to it. And your list of seasoning sounds like it made a very warm, spicy treat!

Superchef said...

that looks like a perfectly comforting bowl of soup for the weather....too bad u had to run out of salt of all things!! i always thought running out of milk was the worst (for some wierd reason :D )

Shama Nagarajan said...

delicious recipe..

sowmya said...

recipes sounds spicy and yumm..looks delicious..

Nirvana said...

The chili looks wonderful! The perfect meal for a cold, snowy day -- I'm currently in Cairo and really missing the snow!

Lore said...

Love the the warmth of this soup. I'd say snowed in days rock ;).

Shreya said...

the dish looks great, love the recipe. nice entry to the event too:-) sorry to hear about the salt getting over...

Happy cook said...

Chillie looks delicious.
Here it is easy if i dodn't have something, i just have to go to the corner shop here.

Gita's Kitchen said...

Vegetarian chili is a sure welcome treat on a snowy night... I love the array of spices like cumin and coriander used here.. it looks so comforting :)

Laavanya said...

A hearty soup like this is a perfect way to enjoy a snow day... I dread running out of salt too and so have a few backup options in place.... :)

Ashwini Kenchanna said...

wow hot bowl of chilli in this cold weather is ultimate..Love to have some now..

anudivya said...

I am like you too... wrt, to the spare salt container which I always keep around. Or I can never seem to get them on time the current pack is over!
Love the chili.

Nithya Praveen said...

Good one Usha.I have had similar situations with Sugar.We moved into a new house and on the day 1,i wanted to make kheer.I was ready with everything,started boiling milk and then realized there wasnt any sugar.It was so annoying.From then on I ensure to stock up things.

AnuSriram said...

Looks delicious... Thats a nice story.. It happens!

aquadaze said...

Looks delicious! Can totally relate to the salt thing...has happened to me several times and not just with salt!

Jaishree said...

Looks spicy n yum usha. perfect for cold weather. nice entry:)

Jayashree Mudaliar said...

Thanks Usha for your encouraging words...Love ya :)

Malar Gandhi said...

Just like you...have a spare salt! Love the chili bean dish...

Adlak's tiny world said...

lovely and spicy recipe.. looks yum and yum

Vrinda said...

Thanks for stopping by at my blog...i was thinking wat to make with pinto beans, will give it a try...

Soma said...

A comforting bowl of chilli... with these below freezing temperature I can think of nothing else.

Priya said...

Delicious bowl of chili, am well stocked n never had these sort of experiences yet now...great sharing Usha, most of us would correct this sort of mistakes by reading urs...

Vij said...

Yum yum yummy!

Vaishali said...

Usha, I can empathize so completely with the salt dilemma. I have forgotten before to replenish it in time, and suffered the consequences. As for the snow: we've been blindsided here in the northeast for the last few days with snow and ice and it's just been an ordeal, to say the least.
I love your vegetarian chili recipe: it's simple and the pinto beans must add a great, almost meaty heft.

Rajat Nayar said...

for some wierd reason it is my son's id which gets reflected when I try posting a comment on blog although I have my gmail a/c.So if you see the name Rajat against Ranjana,believe me it was I who tried reaching you..Wanted to know the difference between paprika and the chilipowder that is used...I am new to this place and I have been hearing and seeing different versions of chilipowder and paprika..Thanks and lemme tell you that your blog is classy...Love it....

Usha said...

Thanks all of you for visiting and your comments !

Curry Leaf I love the idea of adding jalapenos to chili will definitely try that variation soon.

Yikes Indhu, that sounds really scary, I really can imagine the taste of food that day. Since this incident I now keep 2 to 3 containers of salt in my pantry :-)

Usha said...

Happy cook, how cool that is to be able to pick up salt from the corner store. The nearest store for me is about a mile away, so no chance of being able to walk there when the roads are covered with snow !


Nithya, that sounds just as bad as running out of salt, finding no sugar after you start kheer !

Usha said...

Ranjana I tried replying directly to your comment but for some reason it was not letting me to, so I am leaving my reply here. First off thanks so much for visiting and your comment. Regarding the difference between chili powder and paprika....

Paprika is made from milder red chilies and is very mild with a darker color. Chili powder that is sold in Indian stores is more hot and made from spicy red chilies, so essentially the difference is that paprika is milder and red chili powder is more hot.

If you get red chili powder from an American store I hear it sometimes contains other spices along with chili powder....

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