The key ingredient to creating this recipe style similar to old skool chili is lentils. Exploded lentils. In case you prepare dinner them too onerous, they pop open and soften and act as a thickening agent with a end result much like stew.
Purple lentils are extra delicate than their inexperienced or brown counterparts. Usually, they’re cooked at a really mild simmer. For this recipe, I prepare dinner the lentils at an energetic simmer which causes their fragile skins to rupture and free the starchy inside. This permits them to behave as a thickening agent for the chili and provides an genuine texture too.
The stability between the starchy insides of the lentils and the juicy diced tomatoes creates a chili so thick and genuine your omnivore company could have eaten half a bowl earlier than they understand the dish is meatless.