Much vegetarian chili is unsatisfying to me. Maybe it’s beans in vaguely chili flavored tomatoes. Or maybe it’s tvp or seitan, and I’m not absolutely crazy about those. But I didn’t have any alternative, so I kept trying different versions. This one has a chili-like texture provided by the split moong dal. If you can’t find those, French lentils should work as well. Korean black bean paste gives it a depth that spices alone don’t. When I reheated some leftovers, I added a half tablespoon of butter for a little richness. If you don’t mind the calories or fat, give that a try.
2 tbsp oil or ghee
1 chopped onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 tbsp chili seasoning
1 can tomato paste
2 tbsp Korean black bean paste
1 cup split moong dal
3 cups water
Sautee onions and garlic in ghee until wilted. Mix tomato paste, black bean paste, seasoning, and water. Pour into the pot with onions and garlic. Rinse the dal or lentils and add to the pot. It will look very watery.
Let it simmer slowly for 20-30 minutes. I covered mine. Check it for liquid towards the end of cooking time, and don’t let it dry out. It shouldn’t be too soupy. Here’s how mine looked at the end.
Add your favorite chili garnishes, crack open a beer and enjoy!