2017 - Do Not Go Lentil Into that Good Night Chili
Chef: Dawn Bernstein



2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper, divided (plus more to taste)
1 jalapeño, diced with seeds
4 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp (24 g) chili powder, divided
2 Tbsp (14 g) ground cumin, divided
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 15-ounce (425 g) cans diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 3/4 cup water, plus more as needed
3/4 cup dry red lentils, thoroughly rinsed in cold water + drained
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, slightly drained
1 15-ounce can black beans, slightly drained
1 can corn (or frozen)
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, and red pepper. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add jalapeño and garlic that are finely minced. Add to the pot with onion and red pepper, and season with another pinch salt and pepper.
  3. Add 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp cumin, paprika, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and water, and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil over medium high heat.
  4. Once boiling, add lentils and reduce heat to medium-low or low, so it's at a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 or so minutes, or until lentils are mostly tender. As it's cooking you may need to add more water if the mixture is looking too dry and the lentils aren't submerged.
  5. Next add kidney beans, black beans, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, and remaining 1 Tbsp cumin, and 1 Tbsp chili powder, and stir to combine.
  6. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat slightly to low (or medium-low), add corn, cover, and gently simmer for 20 minutes to meld the flavors together. Stir occasionally.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more chili powder or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, or a little maple syrup to balance the heat and draw out the other flavours.
(copyright 1990-2018, Ian Silver)