Have you tried, baharat? Baharat is a highly aromatic seasoning mix used in the Middle East to flavor food and depending on the country you try it from, there will be slight changes to the ingredients used. Some might use saffron while others roses but the common ingredients will include cloves, peppercorns, coriander, cumin among others. And it's this particular combination of ingredients that makes it a wonderful option to flavor chilies. I keep a little jar of baharat in my pantry at all times. It's easily found in most stores as a mix but if you can't and want to make your own, this is the recipe I use.
In this version chili, I also add some chipotle pepper to bump up the smokiness of the soup and finish it off with a little Califia Farms unsweetened almond milk blend to make it extra creamy.
I've used a mix of lentils and beans for this chili because I've been trying to clean out my pantry and use up all the different jars and bags where I've got a few spoonfuls of these seeds but you can easily use one or the other here, though the combined texture of both bean and lentil in this creamy chili is delicious. Serve it as is or with rice or flatbread like you would a dal, it's great either way.
chili with baharat and chipotle
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon baharat seasoning
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 cups water
1 cup mixed beans and lentils ***
1 cup Califia unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Heat the oil in medium-sized Dutch oven or saucepan with a lid on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté for about 4 to 5 minutes until they start to turn translucent. Add the garlic, baharat, chipotle, salt and black pepper and cook with constant stirring for about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional 60 seconds. Then stir in the water and add the beans. Bring the contents to a boil and then reduce the heat to gentle simmer and cover with the lid. Cook for about 1 to 1 hour 30 minutes until the beans are soft and tender.
Once the beans are completely cooked, fold in the almond milk. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot or warm.
Note: *** If you use dried lentils, you can soak them for about 30 minutes to fasten the cooking process. If you use dried beans then, soak the beans overnight for 24 hours before cooking them.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. However, all opinions expressed are solely my own.