Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chilli sin Carne

After last night's dinner failure it was time to go back to something that features regularly in our house, Chilli sin Carne aka. Chilli con Lentils.

There must be so many versions that everyone adapts to their own taste, some people use TVP in place of lentils, others use different vegies and spice mixes but this is what mine has evolved into over the past few years. The recipe that follows uses a grated zucchini as there have been a couple hiding in my fridge waiting to be used, however this is the first time a zucchini has gone into the mix. A grated or diced carrot is usually a staple and any other vegie that fits in and needs to be used up also gets added, sometimes it's a handful of chopped mushrooms or a capsicum.

The beauty of this meal is that I normally have all of the other ingredients on hand so it's a good emergency dinner when the cupboards are needing to be replenished. A more recent addition to this and other spicy meals has been chipotle chilli powder which was purchased late last year at USA Foods and I can't seem to get enough of that smoky flavour!

Chilli sin Carne

1/2 cup dried green/brown lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium zucchini, grated
1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder (or any chilli powder), adjust to suit your taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 x 400g tin diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder (or 1 vegetable stock cube)
1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt to taste
Handful fresh coriander, chopped

Put the lentils in a small saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes, not allowing the lentils to boil dry. They should be starting to soften after this time.

Heat the oil in a medium-large sized saucepan, add the onion, garlic, carrot and zucchini and saute for about 10 minutes.

Add the chilli powder, cumin and oregano. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and vegetable stock to the saucepan and mix through. Then add the partially cooked lentils and stir well. Cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

Add the kidney beans and heat through. Add salt to taste. Finally mix in the chopped cilantro leaves.

Serve with rice, vegan sour cream, more fresh coriander and guacamole.


  1. "sans" means "without" ;P

    I think you've actually inspired me to make something like this tonight. I don't make beans + rice enough.

  2. Oh gosh, silly me!!! I got "con" and "sans" the wrong way around. I'll have to edit my post now! Thx Joanne ;-)

  3. Apparently "sin" is Spanish for "without" (I admit I had to go to Google Translate for this one!). "sans" is French - I don't mind the mixing of languages though, lol :)

  4. Lol - I'm laughing about this and red-faced at the same time. I'll have to be more careful in the future :(