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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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Indian Spiced Vegan Chili.

I am not going to pretend even for a moment like I can make legit Indian food.  Despite having culinary training, making traditional ethnic cuisine is something that typically takes years of focused experience.  But I do love to play around with spices and flavors, and make my best inspired versions of my favorite dishes.

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Since the weather here in Seattle has been damp and grey, a big pot of chili sounded like the perfect thing to simmer on our stove.  I have made a few different versions of chili in the past (here and here), so this time I wanted to try something a bit different.  This Indian-inspired bean chili is perhaps my favorite one yet.

Indian Spiced Vegan Chili

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients (8 servings)

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 lbs potatoes (I used Yukon gold), cubed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt (more to taste)
  • naan bread (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, start by sauteing the onions and celery in a little bit of olive oil.
  2. Once browned, add potatoes and saute for a few minutes just to get a bit of color.
  3. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, beans, jalapeno, spices, and salt. Bring pot up to a simmer.
  4. Once simmering, reduce heat and cover. You really only have to cook this until the potatoes are tender, but in my opinion, chili is always better if you allow it to cook for at least a few hours. Extra cooking time allows the flavors and spices have time to intensify and develop.
  5. Cover and simmer on medium/low heat for at least two hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Before servings, season to taste with any additional salt (if needed).
  7. Serve along side hot naan bread for dipping!

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I have a confession to make.  As our chili simmered on the stove, I said to Casey, "You know what would be perfect with this?  We need naan to dip in it like cornbread!”  And instead of whipping out the ingredients to make my own, I whipped out the iPad and looked up the phone number to the Indian restaurant that is dangerously located about 200 feet from our house.  It’s seriously just TOO easy.

So although I have made naan in the past, this naan came from the nice folks down the street.  And let me tell you, ordering $10 worth of ONLY naan bread is both embarrassing and slightly confusing.  Also, totally worth it.

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This dish has all the comfort of heat of traditional chili, with an interesting Indian twist.  When cooking for a large group of guests, chili is a go-to way to please most palates and dietary preferences.  This recipe would be a perfect meal for covering all your bases, while also doing something a bit more fun and unexpected.

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As always, enjoy!

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66 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Alisa's Garden     at 10:31 pm

That looks so delicious!

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Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land     at 12:03 am

Chili and Indian–two of my favorites! What a great idea. Perfect for this time of year too.

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Michelle@PeachyPalate     at 12:25 am

This looks yummy! I totally agree…chilli is better the next day; love how it gets a little thicker when left to “rest”…I’m also a big cold chilli fan; warm or cold it’s the ultimate comfort food.

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Lucia     at 1:32 am

I have ordered naan from a restaurant and you are right, they always seem confused by it.

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Emily (Edible Psychology)     at 2:04 am

What a good idea to use Indian spices in chilli! It might be a few weeks before I try it, though, because I managed to screw up a batch of chilli over the weekend…which I didn’t think was even possible! Creating recipes is a lot harder than I thought – I appreciate yours even more now.

~Emily~

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Katrina (GF Gidget)     at 2:58 am

What an awesome idea! I want to try this!!!

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Ami@dashofcurry.com     at 3:16 am

I never thought to Indian-ize chili– what a brilliant idea! I love how hearty and nourishing it is!

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Lauren     at 3:44 am

Wow, looks so good Emily! I wonder how sweet potato would be? Or even a butternut squash.

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Simply Life     at 4:00 am

Last year I took a Vegetarian Indian cooking class and learned SO much- now i feel much more confident with the spices and recipes! I love this idea for chili!

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olivewineandfood     at 4:00 am

mmmm. i have almost all of these ingredients. i haven’t loved indian food the few times i’ve tried it, but this sounds awesome.

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Monique     at 4:15 am

Endlessly impressed that the mama of a newborn is cranking out creative and inspired recipes. You’re a total rockstar!

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Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed Reply:

I agree!!!!

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)     at 4:44 am

It’s kind of funny, I’m the same way. Even after going to culinary school and working as a chef, I’m still hesitant when it comes to ethnic foods. The spices are so distinct and there is an endless array of options. Indian is definitely one that is a little out of my league. I will bake anything and I’m not afraid of the Mediterranean herbs, but spices are one I need to work on.

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Fred @ Savorique     at 4:59 am

Your recipe is yet another example that vegan food can be tasty.
However, I’ve learned from an Indian blog that there is a specific order in which spices and other condiments should be added. Once garlic and/or onions are browned in oil, the spices should be added to the oily mixture. That’s reportedly how spices develop their full flavors.

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Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables     at 5:32 am

I don’t blame you, Naan is amazing!

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notyet100     at 5:36 am

Slurp,.I am hungry…:)

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grace @ a side of grace     at 5:58 am

This looks so yummy! Will definitely have to make this week!!

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Rachel     at 6:09 am

It’s been really drizzly and grey here in Louisiana too, so this looks absolutely perfect to me right now. I think I’ll have to make some soup or chili like this for dinner tonight. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Alison     at 6:17 am

Love how easy the naan was. It would be dangerous for me too. Yesterday a friend looked at me and said, “Am I allowed to dip my naan in ranch?” —so at least you didn’t cross THAT line. :)

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Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner     at 6:32 am

This looks delicious! When my husband and I lived 1.5 blocks away from an Indian restaurant, we were there so often that the owner knew us, came to our table to chat all the time, and said hi to us when we saw him outside the restaurant. We were definitely there too much :)

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Katie @ Peace Love & Oats     at 6:42 am

bookmarked this! I love Indian food but I’ve never tried making any myself!

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Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 6:46 am

Good call on ordering the naan — doing everything from scratch can be a bit overwhelming with a baby in the picture. We still try to do as much as possible, but it’s good to have some shortcuts — that way you’re not too exhausted to enjoy the food!

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Lee     at 6:50 am

Sounds legit to me!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen     at 6:57 am

I love that bowl! I kept thinking it was tilted somehow until I got to some of the last pictures and realized it was supposed to look that way. I love playing around with Indian spices but I never feel like it’s legit either. Still tastes good though ;)

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Antonia @ healthinspirations     at 6:59 am

This looks amazing! Now that I study in England I have fallen in love with the diversity of Indian food and the different flavors….and the Naan Bread ;-) Also really adore the shape of that bowl.

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers     at 7:03 am

What an amazing dish! I love all the flavors you added to it! This is a must try!

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PoochesForPeace (Anna H.)     at 7:15 am

Hi! I found your site through Oh She Glows. Cant wait to try some of your recipes! -Anna

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Kristina     at 8:24 am

My husband used to live in India and I loved my time traveling there, so we’re totally guilty of adding Indian spices to pretty much everything we cook :) Curry in eggs..why not?

Putting this on the meal plan for next week!

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Julie     at 8:48 am

OMGiwantthat! Looks delicious!

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Jesse     at 8:53 am

I highly recommend trader joes frozen naan. we had the garlic variety last night with some indian lentils, tofu, green beans, rice and greek yogurt i threw together. only takes about 2-3 minutes to bake and it was delicious.

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Julie (A Case of the Runs)     at 9:18 am

Love it! I cook Indian once in a while and am definitely also still learning about the spices and how they work together… I was going to make samosas yesterday but saw that my egg roll wrappers were moldy. =(

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Micaela     at 10:03 am

Looks amazing! Is that naan vegan? I was under the impression that most naan used milk, butter, and yogurt. I know Trader Joes’ frozen naan does, and I was super addicted to that before I became vegan. I know naan can be made vegan though, I should try it some time.

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Lisa     at 10:34 am

Yum! I’ve been Pinning so many of your recipes lately!! :)

I also love TJ’s naan – great and quick.

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 10:48 am

Mmmm! Looks delicious especially with Naan. I think this will be on the menu for next week!

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Meredith     at 12:18 pm

Yum! My boyfriend is from India and he’s taught me to make a few dishes (but they’re way better when he does it) and, as one blogger to another, I appreciate that you recognize that legitimate Indian cooking would take years of study — something many bloggers won’t admit when they do “Indian” recipes. I really want to make your chili and combine my culture’s comfort food with my boyfriend’s culture’s flavors. Such a fun combination!

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Eileen     at 1:39 pm

That looks delicious. I am wondering what kind/ where do you buy your curry powder? The kind I have is very strong. I don’t even want to know what 3 T would do to this dish.

Thanks!

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Sara N.     at 5:16 pm

It is finally going to snow here in Kansas and I made chili too! I think I will be making this recipe in the very near future. Thank you for sharing.

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Army Amy*     at 5:53 pm

Youre on a roll! This looks great!*

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Mai     at 7:17 pm

My dad has been egging me to make some type of Indian/chili dish–this recipe could not have been posted at a more perfect time!
Definitely will have to try this sometime this week. :D

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Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous!     at 7:41 pm

Oh my goodness this looks delicious. I love chili and this would be a great twist on my traditional chili!

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Aly     at 12:03 pm

Looks delicious – love chili and Indian, this is the perfect mix!

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Julia     at 12:28 pm

That looks quite yummy. Does Cullen respond well to spicy food? I also really loved your crediting of creating an ‘inspired version.’ You’re too modest!

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Michelle     at 12:48 pm

This looks amazing!

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Lawyer Loves Lunch     at 1:19 pm

Heh, we often order just naan from the Indian place around the corner. It’s surprisingly tasty with fried eggs :)

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Sarah@The Flying ONION     at 1:25 pm

This looks extraordinary! Especially with that bread on the side for dunking (I’m so into dunking these days, between soup and beans and now this chili! :D )

Thanks for sharing yet another delightful recipe!

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Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie     at 1:36 pm

I loooooove naan bread! Serious addict right here :)

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Tami     at 2:14 pm

Couldn’t wait to try this! It is simmering on the stove right now, and my house smells AMAZING. Thanks so much for the recipe. Can’t wait for dinner! :)

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Jenny     at 3:00 pm

I tried this recipe last night and it was super good. This is the first began recipe I’ve tried and was very impressed!!! It even passed the husband test which is saying A LOT. He is a gotta have meat with every meal kinda guy, so I was nervous about serving it too him. After he told me he liked it, I told him it was began. He was like “you did what to me…and I said I liked it too.” :-)

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Jenny Reply:

*vegan (stupid smart phone).

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TeenyLittleSuperChef     at 5:06 pm

Oh damn, where was this recipe two days ago when I was trying to figure out what the heck to do with all the potatoes I received from our CSA this week. I ended up just mashing them. Totally would have been better in this type of recipe. Oh well, better late than never and I’m sure I’ll get more taters next week.

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Alexis @ hummusapien     at 6:51 pm

I looove naan! And I especially love all the delicious sauces that come with it! The chili looks delicious- I bet that spice profile tastes amazing :)

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Lindsay @ FuelMyFamily     at 7:03 pm

That looks so good. How does Cullen’s belly handle all those beans? I am also breastfeeding and beans make her gassy. I’ll have to give this a try a little later!

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Jen     at 5:44 am

My husband made this for us last night and it was delicious, with quite a kick to it. This recipe was our first attempt at our goal to have at least one vegan or vegetarian meal each week. I am sure that I will be hitting up your blog for more vegan recipes. Yum.

P.S. I got my naan at Wegman’s. :-)

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eatingRD     at 1:34 pm

This looks tasty! I love all those spices and naan :) We tried to make naan once before, but boy that’s a lot of work, so we usually pick it up from TJ’s.

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Jess     at 6:51 pm

Hey Emily, I’ve been reading for a while but it’s my first time commenting, you’re one of my go-to blogs for health inspiration and recipes so I thought I could share a little secret about Indian cooking with you: add the spices to the onions, they need to cook in oil first before you add the broth. Also: desi people (Indian, Pakistanis, etc) totally order just naan at an Indian restaurant if they are cooking at home, because fresh naan made in a tandoor over tastes way better. So no need to feel awkward.

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Lauren G     at 3:45 pm

I made this last night for a group of friends and it was delicious! Keep the Indian inspired recipes coming!!

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I love to eat | PDX Dinosaur     at 4:35 pm

[...] I encourage you all to check out this fun alternative. Also what am I using it for… this lovely chili! [...]

Roxy     at 11:36 am

I made this on Friday, it ended up being super hot. I frequent Indian food so am accustomed to heat. If I wanted to tone the heat down would I just cut back on the chili powder? thx

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Probably too big of a jalapeno! The chili powder is a strong flavor, but not really spicy.

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Jules     at 11:15 am

Made this last night! It was a good excuse to visit the Indian grocery down the street. I couldn’t find the garam masala anywhere else, and that’s fine because it was only $1.99 there (for 7oz!), and 8 loaves of naan were only $2.50! So much cheaper than the regular grocery store! It was delicious, and we have plenty of leftovers for cold nights!

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Danielle     at 7:49 am

This looks delicious!!! Would it work to cook it in a slow cooker? Thanks!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I don’t see why not!

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Ann     at 10:03 pm

Made this last week and it was SO GOOD!! I was excited every day to eat the leftovers for lunch, and am so sad they’re gone I’m thinking about making it again this week. Thanks!

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Nancy     at 11:39 am

What size cans of beans and tomatoes do you use? There are many different sizes.
Thanks

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Kinsey     at 2:38 pm

I’ve got this cookin’ on the stove right now! Question though, I subbed sweet potatoes for the regular potatoes and really hoping that doesn’t mess it all up. Do you think it’ll be ok?

[Reply]

Kinsey Reply:

Ok it’s done and SO good :) I love the “sweet” compliment it gives the somewhat spicy soup!

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