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Chana Chili


Thanks to one of the world's foremost scientific experts on chana dal, Dr. Richard M. Hannan, research leader/horticulturist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Regional Plant Introduction Station at Washington State University in Pullman, for one of his favorite recipes utilizing chana dal and/or other chickpeas.

Some readers, however, complained that it didn't seem to have enough water. One offered specific suggestions, included below.


  • 1 cup dry chickpeas ("I use any number of types," he writes)
  • 1 cup dry red beans (or red kidneys)
  • 1 cup dry black beans
  • 5 (or more) cloves of garlic
  • 1 roughly diced large onion. You can't have too much garlic or onion in this dish.
  • 15 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
  • 8-16 oz. of tomato sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder (some people make their own, but this is fastest for the regular cook)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel
  • a dash of lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • cumin to taste
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • half cup of beer (use an ale or lager)
  • 7 cups of water, which can be adjusted for a thicker or thinner chili, adding if necessary as the chili cooks. For non-vegetarians chicken broth, instead of water, adds interest to the chili.


Wash the beans thoroughly and pick out all the rocks. "Add all of the ingredients into a crock pot. Cook for a minimum of 24 hours, but longer is better. The Phaseolus beans get soft and make a base, but the chickpeas stay firm and give some firmness to the whole dish. I use a wide array of pepper sauces later, but do not spice the pot to my taste. Otherwise, I'd end up having to eat the whole pot of beans. The chickpeas also make a real nice change from the standard chili dish."

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Last modified: September 18, 2001

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