Coconut-curry chili. Photo by Monica Bliss.

From the kitchen of Monica Bliss

A recipe for coconut-curry chili.

New Lebanon— Cooking and sharing meals with family and friends truly is the spice of life. I enjoy nothing more than sitting across from a cherished soul sharing a spicy dish and a carafe of wine. It doesn’t matter if the meal is fancy or simple, with some ambient music and lighting, this is where I find magic.

Chili is a simple dish everyone loves. I make a few varieties depending on the occasion. My coconut-curry chili is vegan, low calorie, and high in both fiber and protein – making it highly nutritious; and the Thai flavors make it highly delicious. Meat eaters love it, too; bulgur is a surprisingly satisfying substitute for ground beef. This chili will warm you up on a cold, winter night; and it’s quite versatile, quick enough for a weeknight dinner and beautiful enough for a special celebration. Enjoy!

Coconut-curry chili. Photo by Monica Bliss.

Coconut-curry chili

2 teaspoons curry paste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Splash of water
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup uncooked red bulgur
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped bite sized
1 large bell pepper, chopped bite sized
2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups tomato puree
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix curry paste, tomato paste, ground cumin, and slash of water in a small bowl. Add mixture to soup pot along with 4 cups of vegetable broth. Stir.

Add bulgur, sweet potato, and bell pepper. Bring to a boil on high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for ten minutes. 

Add beans, coconut milk, tomato puree, salt, and pepper. Cook uncovered on medium-low for ten minutes or until it thickens a bit, stirring occasionally. Serve hot. 

Tips:

I use black beans and Garbanzo beans, but any will do.

Top with red cabbage, sliced scallions, and crushed peanuts. 

Serve with toasted garlic naan.