Indian-Style Smoky Black Bean Chili

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Indian-Style 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 flavor in this hearty chili 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.

Indian-Style Smoky Black Bean ChiliIndian-Style Smoky Black Bean Chili
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on September 8, 2008

Hearty black bean chili with a smoky Indian-flavored twist from dry roasted cumin, mustard and fennel seeds

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours

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  • 1 1/2 cups dried black beans
  • 4 cups water
  • generous handful of fresh green chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • small handful of dried curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pinch of asafetida
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Rinse the black beans and soak in several inches of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with 4 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil, add the chiles, ginger, curry leaves and half of the parsley or cilantro. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender.

  • Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 minutes, then drain and chop. Set aside.

  • Shortly before the beans have finished cooking, soak the bulgur wheat in 1/3 cup of hot water.

  • When the beans are soft, purée a small portion with a hand blender or transfer a portion to a countertop blender, purée, and return to the pan.

  • In a small unoiled skillet or saucepan, dry roast the cumin seeds over medium heat. When the seeds have darkened a few shades, toss the asafetida into the pan, stir once, and immediately transfer to the cooked beans. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, diced tomatoes, bulgur wheat, chili powder, cayenne and dried oregano to the beans. Cook uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Raise the heat in the same unoiled skillet or saucepan used to dry roast the cumin seeds to medium. Toss in the mustard seeds and cover. Shake the pan from time to time. When the seeds begin to pop, add the fennel seeds, cover, and continue to dry roast until the seeds stop popping. Pour the seeds into the beans.

  • Remove the beans from the stove an stir in the remaining parsley or cilantro. Cover and let stand for a few minutes before seasoning with salt and black pepper.

Makes 6 to 8 servings


miss v said...

i just started thinking about chili today because the weather is unseasonably cool in the midwest. this looks great!

Usha said...

Loved the Indian twist to the chili will try this soon..:)

Meg said...

I love black beans! This recipe looks delicious. I will have to give it a try this Fall!

Anonymous said...

This sounds great! I might try this soon, to use some of the flood of tomatoes from my garden.

Anonymous said...

That looks just perfect for the kind of weather we had here today--cool, rainy, very much in need of comfort food!

Ivy said...

We don't have black beans in Greece but I am looking forward to bean dishes in general but it's still very hot here.

Laura Paterson said...

I too am starting to think comfort in food!

This is a wonderful recipe - healthy and spicy - spot on!!

OhioMom said...

I love black beans, I love the twist from traditional chili :)

Vijitha said...

This is my first here... You have a lovely blog...jus popped in to say a hi
wonderful recipe...healthy too...Thanks for sharing it.