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aliaseater

Lentils + Chili

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I'm contemplating making a chili (using turkey) and substituting lentils for the beans.

Does this dish exist in any cuisine?

Or, as I suspect, am I just asking for trouble?


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Sounds good to me. You will find plenty of vegetarian lentil chilis - they often include bulgur for texture, so the turkey would work easily.


Edited by tsquare (log)

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My first thought was that the lentils would disintegrate, since they take only twenty minutes or so to get completely soft. If that's ok with you, then go for it.

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You can use any pulse to substitute for any other. Simply cook the lentils separately - the black beluga or "caviar" lentils take a bit longer to cook than the "gray" lentils and the red lentils take much less time than the others - add the hot cooked lentils after you have cooked the chili.

Groundnut stew, a West African specialty, can be very similar to chili. The original is made with the bambara groundnut, a native African pulse. Often peanuts are substituted now, but the true groundnut is the traditional.

There are indeed people who do not like beans in chili, however, for people who want to stretch a small amount of meat to feed many people, adding beans, peas, cowpeas, etc., is necessary and many people prefer it that way. There are also many people who do not eat meat or poultry and use a combination of several pulses and grains to make a complete protein.

Adding cooked lentils to thin or watery chili before it has finished cooking will thicken it nicely.

Although some purists argue that the variations are not "true" chili, certain regional specialties include beans and also pasta. Cincinnati, for instance, where the "Chilifest" is celebrated annually.


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