Blackout Sesame Chili

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Medium Red Onion, Diced

5 Cloves Garlic, Minced

1 (14.5-Ounce) Can Diced Tomatoes

1 (6-Ounce) Can Tomato Paste

1 1/2 Cups Dry Black Beluga Lentils

1 (16-Ounce) Can Stout Beer

2 Cups Vegetable Stock

1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons Chili Powder

2 Tablespoons Black Cocoa Powder

2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Chipotle Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1/2 Cup Black Tahini

2 (15.5-Ounce) Cans Black Beans, Rinsed and Drained

1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

1 Teaspoon Salt

To Garnish (optional):

1 Cup Vegan Sour Cream

3 - 4 Scallions, Thinly Sliced

1/4 Cup Toasted Black Sesame Seeds

Place a large stock pot over medium heat and add in the oil. Once shimmer, add the onion and garlic, sauteing until lightly browned and aromatic; about 6 - 8 minutes. Introduce the diced tomatoes and tomato paste next, working the paste into the scant liquid to break it down into a smooth mixture. Next, incorporate the lentils, beer, vegetable stock, maple syrup, chili powder, black cocoa, cumin, chipotle powder, and cayenne. Stir well to combine, cover, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, until lentils are tender. Add tahini and black beans, mixing well to incorporate. Continue to stew, uncovered, for an additional 15 - 20 minutes until thick, rich, and piping hot. Add the lime juice and salt, adjusting both to taste as needed.

Depending on your desired consistency, you may want to add more vegetable stock or water, particularly if the chili is made in advance. It tends to thicken further as it cools.

Ladle out into bowls and top with sour cream, scallions, and black sesame seeds. Eat to your black heart's content!

Makes 6 - 8 Servings

©Hannah Kaminsky