1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup brown lentils
4 cups chicken broth (or turkey broth, if you can find it)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. curry powder, divided
1/2 tsp. ground ginger, divided
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
salt to taste
pepper to taste
(optional) jalapeno (seeded or unseeded, to taste), diced
(optional) raita (for garnish)
(optional) cilantro (for garnish)
You'll Also Need:
a cooktop Dutch Oven or other large pot
The AHH Factor: When I was in college, homemade chili was one of my go-to meals. It was so simple (pour everything into one pot), yet gave me the satisfaction of making my own dinner. The smell of the spices was terrific. Back then, I only made chili the typical way -- with spices like chili powder and cumin and with red kidney beans.
I preferred making chili to buying it because back then I could only find beef-made chilis for sale. But in recent years, that's changed. I find turkey chili everywhere, and I especially love the turkey chili in a can at Trader Joe's. It's perfectly seasoned and makes a great lunch, especially topped with some shredded cheddar.
While it seems silly to me to spend my time making a pot of turkey chili when I can easily buy it, I'm still a bit wistful for the days of homemade chili. So I started thinking of ways that I could make it unique -- something I couldn't easily buy in a can or at the deli. That's when I came up with the idea of making it a little bit Indian -- replacing the chili power and cumin for the spices I typically put in my Indian entrees, like cinnamon and ginger. Then I thought about replacing the kidney beans with lentils. (A quick Google search showed me that lentil chili recipes are rampant, which I took as a good sign that adding lentils to chili wouldn't be too weird.) And I wanted to top it off with bit of raita, as a replacement for the traditional sour cream.
The result tastes amazing, a chili that's a little bit sweet and a little more spicy, plus healthier than your traditional beef-and-beans variety. Plus, it'll make your home smell amazing.
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