Sunday, March 23, 2014

Three-Bean Chili with a Cashew-Pistachio Sauce

Those of you who know me well are probably wondering what a chili that includes beans is doing on this blog (not only beans, but tomatoes as well!). This is an Indian-flavored chili, so I think it's okay to bend the rules. If you don't like heat, you'll want to scale back the chilies or cayenne a bit. The sweetness of the nuts makes a nice contrast to the heat and Indian spices though. Feel free to top this with cheese, yogurt, or sour cream.

One year ago: Shredded Beef with Sweet Peppers
Two years ago: Potato Rendang
Three years ago: Pork and Sweet Potato Stew
Four years ago: Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Three-Bean Chili with a Cashew-Pistachio Sauce (from 660 Curries)

1/4 cup canola oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 fresh green Thai, cayenne, or serrano chiles, finely chopped
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp Toasted Cumin-Coriander blend (a 2:1 blend of coriander and cumin seeds toasted and ground)
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup pistachio nuts
3 cups water, divided
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (or 1/2 cup dried, cooked)
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 1/2 cup dried, cooked)
1 can black beans beans, drained and rinsed (or 1/2 cup dried, cooked)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and fresh chiles and cook, stirring, until vegetables soften and brown, ~20 minutes.
2. Stir in tomatoes, ground chiles, cumin-coriander blend, salt, and turmeric. Lower heat to medium and cook until tomato softens, 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, pour 1/4 cup water into a blender jar and add 3 types of nuts. Puree to a thick, slightly gritty paste. (If you need to add more water, you can take it out of the water you're adding in step 5 to the blender. Just be careful you don't add too much. You want the nuts to grind evenly and if you add all the water, they won't.)
4. Add nut paste to the vegetable mixture.
5. Pour 2 3/4 cups water into the blender jar (or whatever you have left out of 3 cups total). Whir blades to wash out any stuck bits of nut paste. Pour into vegetable mixture.
6. Add pinto, kidney, and black beans and stir.
7. Bring chili to a boil, lower heat to medium-low, cover pan, and simmer for 15 minutes.
8. Reduce heat to low, stir, and simmer another 15 minutes or until sauce is thick.
9. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

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