GVaGH's World-Famous Chili

GVaGH's World-Famous Chili

(Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Cook Time: 40-50 minutes
Total Time: About 1 hour
Serves 6


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cumin (yes, you read that right - tablespoons)
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1-2 pinches each of salt and pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (I use 4 cups of water and half a tablespoon of Better Than Bullion vegetable base)
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Bags of Fritos


  1. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, and bell pepper to the pot.  (I always put everything on the pot before turning the heat on because every time I’ve done otherwise,  I’ve managed to burn the garlic.)   Cook for 3-5 minutes or until onion starts to get just a tiny bit browned.  (You can move to the next step when the onions are transparent, but a little bit of onion-caramelization adds an exponential umami depth-of-flavor.)
  2. Add in canned tomatoes (with juices), cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, curry powder, broth, salt and pepper.  Let the tomatoes break down and get bubbly so all the kids get to know each other in the pot.  6-8 minutes.
  3. Add broth, quinoa, lentils, black beans, and kidney beans.  Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let it simmer for 30 minutes, giving it an occasional stir to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.  After 30 minutes, have your version of Ms. GVaGH test the lentils to make sure they’ve cooked.  If the lentils aren’t cooked through, cover again and give them 10 more minutes.
  4. Serve!  If you want to add cilantro, "cheese," or avocado, now’s the chance (but I can’t imagine why you’d want to ruin something so delicious with cilantro).  Fritos are probably the most important ingredient to bring all of this together.  This chili tastes great without it, but the Fritos are what makes it mind-blowing.