Vegetarian Three Bean Chili with a Cashew-Pistachio Sauce

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Vegetarian Three Bean Chili with a Cashew-Pistachio Sauce

Tempted by yet another recipe from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer, I couldn't resist making this chili from the contemporary curries section on one of the hottest days of the year. This is certainly a recipe I will be revisiting in the future, especially during the colder months, but I will say I very much enjoyed it on a hot and humid day. The nuts provide a wonderful accompaniment to the selection of beans. Mr. Iyer suggests serving this delightful chili with cheese, such as shredded paneer, scallions, sour cream or yogurt or perhaps chopped fresh mango. Packed full of vegetables, legumes and nuts, this is a particularly healthy vegetarian meal, and a most tasty one at that. A big thanks to Mr. Iyer for such a lovely and inspired volume of creative recipes.

 Vegetarian Three Bean Chili with a Cashew-Pistachio Sauce Vegetarian Three Bean Chili with a Cashew-Pistachio Sauce
Recipe by
Adapted from 660 Curries
Cuisine: Indian
Published on July 8, 2010

An Indian-style vegetarian three bean chili cooked in a creamy and delicious cashew-pistachio sauce

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  • 2/3 cup dried pinto beans
  • 2/3 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 2/3 cup dried black beans
  • 1/4 cup olive or sesame oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green chilies or jalapeƱos, seeded and diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
Cashew-pistachio sauce:
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 3 cups water
  • Rinse the beans and soak for 8 hours or overnight covered in several inches of water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. Drain and rinse, transfer to a large saucepan, and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the beans tender. Drain and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the cashew-pistachio sauce. Combine the pine nuts, cashews and pistachios in a blender or food processor. Add 1/2 cup of the water and blend until you have a gritty paste. Remove and swirl the remaining 2 1/2 cups of water around in the blender or food processor to obtain the remaining paste. Set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and chilies or jalapeƱos and cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to brown. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, cayenne, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and turmeric. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened and begin to thicken.

  • Now add the nut paste to the pan along with the water from the blender or food processor. Stir in the cooked beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the ingredients don't stick to the pan. Reduce the heat on the element if necessary or add a bit more water to reach your desired consistency.

  • Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve hot with fresh cooked rice or your favorite Indian flatbread.

Makes 8 servings

Vegetarian Three Bean Chili with a Cashew-Pistachio Sauce

Other chili recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you would be sure to enjoy:
Smoky Black Bean Chili
Southwest Vegetarian Chili
Cornmeal Crusted Chili


Siri said...

Love the color. It looks so rich and sumptuous. :)


Unknown said...

That is a lovely looking beans' curry. Beautiful too, will surely give a try.

Harp said...

Hi Lisa, this looks fabulous. I don't see cashews in the ingredient list - but you've listed pine nuts twice - is one of them supposed to be cashews?

Lisa Turner said...

Oops! Sorry about that, I've fixed the ingredient list now. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Sweet Artichoke said...

This curry is mouthwatering and the addition of cashews, pistachios and pine nuts make it even more delicious!

Priya Suresh said...

Thats a very tempting dish with rich sauce..liking it..btw did u got my entry for this month's NCR, i have mailed u before three days..

CurryLeaf said...

Tempting and rich chilli.Will love to scoop it in with tortilla/roti.

Indian Khana said...

Nice recipe ...and very interesting...gud one

Johanna GGG said...

wow that is an innovative take on chilli - sounds fantastic

AJ said...

Chili looks yum!!

RV said...

Slurpp.. This is a super delicious and colofurl dish.

eatme_delicious said...

Yum I love pistachios in savoury cooking!

dining room tables said...

Vegetarian Three Bean Chili with a Cashew Pistachio Sauce is new to me. But it sounds and looks good. The recipe includes many healthy ingredients. That is perfect for vegetarians.

Rina said...

that does sound like a good recipe, though i think i may prefer this on a cold day! I like the idea of the beans and the nuts - full of protein and goodness.

Simply Life said...

oh what a great sauce!