Loyal Lentil Chili


I’ve been following Nina from Nourish Atelier on instagram for a wee while now and have asked her on more than one occasion if she can pretty please be my mum in our next lives. Her imagery is just to die for, which is no surprise seeing as she is an art director when she’s not being a food blogger, cookbook author or mother.

When Nina’s Bowls of Goodness cookbook was released, recreations of her Loyal Lentil Chili started flooding my newsfeed. It had me at pumpkin, but lentils, spices, coconut milk, TAHINI, coriander.. come on now!! Every time an image floated past my eyes I died a little bit so of course, when her book arrived in my hot little hands earlier this year, it was the first thing I made. Heaven does not do it justice. This dish was like a warm hug from an old friend.

I am thrilled to share the recipe for this dish from Nina’s stunning and bestselling cookbook, Bowls of Goodness. I often get cookbooks, look through them once and then cook maybe one dish but usually none. From Nina’s book I have cooked 5 things thus far and there are many more pages dog eared and waiting to be recreated in my kitchen.

I highly recommend this book, I plan on buying it for many loved ones as gifts this year. Do your mouth a favour and buy yourself a copy, and  pick up a copy of my book at the same time if you haven’t already 

Lots of love and enjoy this chili!


Serves 4:

For the Chili:
250g puy or beluga lentils
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
5–7 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely minced to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and finely chopped
1-2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
400g butternut squash, cooked and chopped into small pieces
400ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon date syrup*
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

For the Simple Yogurt Sauce:
200g soy yogurt or coconut yogurt
1 teaspoon date syrup*
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

For the Quickest Cucumber Salad:
1/2 cucumber, shaved into ribbons
4 tablespoons rice vinegar

To Serve:
fresh coriander
hot sauce, like sriracha
cooked brown rice or other whole grain
lime wedges

* Ninas recipe calls for honey or agave but I only had date syrup on hand. Maple syrup would also work well


Cook the lentils according to the packet instructions, rinse, drain and set aside.

Heat a frying pan over a medium–high heat. Add the oil and gently fry the shallots until transparent. Add the garlic, spices, pepper, chilli and tomatoes and fry for a few minutes over a medium–low heat.

Stir in the lentils, squash, tahini and date syrup. Pour in the coconut milk and stir, then let the chilli simmer over a medium–low heat for 5 minutes, adding a little water if needed and stirring regularly. Add the lime juice and soy, then let it simmer for a further few minutes while stirring. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

Mix the ingredients for the yogurt sauce. Make the cucumber salad by combining the shaved cucumber and rice vinegar.

Drizzle the chilli with extra virgin olive oil, top with freshly chopped coriander and serve with the cool yogurt sauce and salad.

Serve with a hot sauce, rice and lime as extras on the table.