2 years ago

Garlic & Curry Nilgai Chili

Before I get to the recipe for this awesome nilgai chili, a quick update on my health/fitness interests in general…

The last few weeks haven’t been the best for my exercise routine:  weekdays busy with baseball, and weekends of wedding events have knocked me and my husband totally off our game. We’ve still done a few sporadic workouts, but May has definitely not been the best month in our fitness journey!

This new week brings us back to our healthy routine of eating right and scheduled workouts, with quantified goals set to keep us motivated. Falling off the wagon is fine–it happens, we’re all human!–but getting back on is key. I’m planning a few posts delving into those topics this week!

So, what’s for dinner tonight, to kick off our return to healthy choices?

Garlic and curry nilgai chili!

Nilgai Chili

I’ve said before how much I love using game meat like venison or nilgai in place of high calorie beef–and when it’s ground, you can pretty much sub it into anything. Usually use ground beef in your spaghetti sauce? Cut calories effortlessly without sacrificing any flavor or protein by using game meat. Meat loaf? Yup! (I’ve even got a tried-and-true recipe for that.) Tacos? Perfect! Seriously, ground nilgai or venison goes great in ANYTHING. I’m in love with it.

This chili, which features curry powder as an homage to the nilgai’s Indian heritage, is absolutely packed with flavor. A dash of cinnamon gives it an interesting sweetness very different from the Texas chilis I’m used to… Cooking the ground meat with minced garlic infuses it with flavor, and you can garnish it with some of your favorite toppings, like green onions, sour cream, greek yogurt, or even a piece of classic cornbread to make it your own!

This impressive, unique chili will have folks begging for your recipe, and if your husband is anything like mine, he’ll be asking to add it to your menu rotation ASAP!

Nilgai Chili

Try this and let me know what you think!

Garlic & Curry Nilgai Chili


  • 1 lb ground nilgai (or venison, or turkey, or extra-lean ground beef)
  • 2 tsp (4 cloves) minced garlic
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans
  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans
  • 1 4-oz can chopped green chiles
  • 1 15-oz can beef broth
  • 1 15-oz can tomato paste
  • zest of one medium lemon
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • green onions, diced (optional, for garnish)
  • sour cream (optional, for garnish)


  1. In large pot over medium heat, cook ground meat and minced garlic until meat is nearly browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add diced bell pepper and onion and cook until vegetables begin to soften, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add kidney beans, garbanzo beans, chiles, broth, and tomato paste. Stir until well combined.
  4. Add lemon zest and all seasonings, stir to combine.
  5. Turn heat to low and simmer 45 minutes to an hour, to allow flavors to combine.
  6. Serve with sliced green onions and sour cream for garnish.

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