Curried Chickpea Chili

We made this one with friends while on a short holiday in the Catskills a few weeks ago, and I got sidetracked by Chicken of the Woods recipes…but we’re back now to share this spicy/full bodied Vegetarian Chili now!

We started with the concept of wanting to use garam masala to make a curried flavour profile for our chili, and from there, we built out the rest of the idea. For the base layer of flavour, we used fresh jalapeños from our local farm (and oh man, did we make this one spicy) along with garlic and onions. After sweating those, we added garam masala and Kashmiri chili powder for the classic Indian flavour and some extra heat. Then, we added chickpeas for protein and tomato components for our sauce before mixing in basmati rice for texture and nutritional balance.

The acorn squash bowl was less a part of the plan and more a product of opportunity. The day we arrived, it was raining like the dickens, so we wound up going to a local farmers’ market rather than a deluge hike…and that’s where we saw a set of gorgeous looking acorn squashes. We couldn’t resist, so we brought them home, baked them, and used them as serving vessels for our chili. The earthy sweetness of the flesh wound up complementing the chili really well, so we suggest serving this way if you can!

Time: 75 Minutes


  • Hot Peppers
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chickpeas
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Basmati Rice
  • Garam Masala
  • Optional: Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • Optional serving method: Acorn Squash


  • Optional (if serving in acorn squash bowls): Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with foil. Then, cut your squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place each half on the baking sheet. Rub a little butter on the top rims, and bake while you cook your chili.
  • Peel your onion and garlic. Then, dice your onion, garlic, and hot peppers.
  • Melt some ghee (or butter) in a large pot, and add your diced veggies. Sprinkle on and stir in your garam masala (and Kashmiri chili powder) as well. Cook until your peppers soften, and your onion turns opaque.
  • As your diced veggies cook, prep your basmati rice by heating some oil in a saucepan and tossing your rice in to coat. Then, pour a 2:1 ratio of water:rice into the pan, and cover loosely until all the water is absorbed.
  • When your onions/peppers are ready, drain and rinse your chickpeas, and add them to your chili pot. Stir to combine.
  • Add your canned tomatoes and tomato paste into your chili, and stir to combine. Allow to come to a simmer, and then add in your cooked rice, and stir to combine.
  • Optional (if serving in acorn squash bowls): Scoop your chili into your squash bowls, and stash back in the oven to finish.
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!

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