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Vegetarian Chili

This nourishing combination of beans and vegetables is given an extra protein boost with the addition of crumbled home-made curd cheese (panir). To make this a dairy-free dish, add frozen tofu that's been thawed and crumbled instead of the curd cheese. (Instructions for preparing tofu in this way are included in the recipe for Vegetarian Stroganoff). Chili is delicious served with your choice of breads or rice.

YIELD: enough for 6 to 8 persons

2 tablespoons (40 ml) olive oil
2 hot green chilies, seeded and minced
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
1/2 cup (125 ml) diced green peppers
1/2 cup (125 ml) diced celery
1/2 cup (125 ml) cooked corn pieces
3 cups (750 ml) tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup (185 ml) tomato paste
3 cups (750 ml) cooked kidney beans (reserve the bean liquid separately)
1 cup (250 ml) crumbled curd cheese or frozen tofu that's been thawed and crumbled
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin
11/2 teaspoons (7 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon (5 ml) cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon (20 ml) brown sugar
2 tablespoons (40 ml) chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat the oil in a heavy 3-litre/quart saucepan over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the minced green chili and saute for 1 minute. Add the asafoetida powder and saute momentarily. Add the diced peppers and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables soften.

2. Add the corn and the chopped tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the chili is too thick, add some reserved bean liquid. Serve hot.