Saturday, June 15, 2024

In The Kitchen with Kanta: Red Lentil Chilli


In-The-Kitchen-With-Kanta-Logo (1)

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

This is a new recipe which I recently tried, and it was definitely a hit. If you are trying to reduce the amount of meat that you eat you can start by switching up a couple of your meals per week, and this Red lentil chilli is a great recipe to start with.


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • A large can (780 grams ) whole or diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup (215 grams) red lentils, rinsed
  • A large jar (570 grams) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Lime slices, to serve
  • Optional toppings: coriander, jalapeños, hot sauce, diced avocado, green or red onion, sour cream
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


In a medium-sized pot, over a medium-high heat add vegetable oil and sauté the onions and garlic, until the onions are soft; and then add the red pepper and cook for a few minutes to soften.  Once most of the water has evaporated, add the tomato paste, herbs and spices and stir for about 30 seconds to release the flavours of the spices.

Add the tomatoes (if using whole, break them up with your spoon), lentils, beans and vegetable stock. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Allow the chilli to simmer very gently until the lentils are soft – about 30 minutes. If too much liquid evaporates, add a touch more stock or water. If it’s too watery once the lentils are cooked, uncover and allow it to reduce.

Finally, stir through the maple syrup, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary, adding more spice or sweetness to your taste.


Serve with fresh lime to squeeze over and your choice of toppings, as listed above.


Kanta Temba is a Cake maker and decorator|Lusaka Times Food columnist|TV show host


  1. Why does she take other people’s recipes and claim them as her own? If you right click on the picture and scroll to search Google image, it shows you the same thing she is promoting. She needs to come up with her own pictures and recipes. Copying someone’s work or taking intellectual property and claiming it as your own is wrong. Lusaka Times you should not allow her to use other people’s pictures and recipes which she tweaks. She needs to ask for permission! It is called plagiarism for a reason.

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