Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The reason for the ‘!’ after Rajma! is because this is something I have been trying to make for a long time and for some reason it just never comes out right. Well… this time it did, which is why I am bothering to share this recipe. 
Red kidney beans are healthy and tasty and used in North Indian cooking quite a bit. I bought organic dried ones from Whole Foods and soaked 1 cup over night. It made for quite a bit with the sauce and more. 
Once again, I advocate roasting and grinding the spice seeds and then using it. The flavor is enhanced and aroma stronger– two things that are almost a must in Indian cooking.
This is a combination of my mother-in-law, Nani and my recipes. It did make for a good result, and I encourage you to try it.
Served with white basmati rice, I had mine with brown rice for a healthier option. Try wild rice too as I think it should taste good together. Boil the rice with cloves or a bay leaf to add to the aroma. If you are feeling indulgent, add a dab of butter and mix it into the rice right after it is cooked and warm.  
Serves 4
60 minutes
  1. 1.Wash and soak 1 cup red kidney beans overnight or for at least 6 hours. 
  2. 2.Drain and boil the beans with fresh salted water and 5 cloves until cooked through. This should take about 30 minutes. Check the beans after 20 minutes. We want it to be cooked through but not mushy. 
  3. 3.In the meantime, blanch 3 large tomatoes, remove the skin and seeds and blend to form a puree.
  4. 4.In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and fry 1 bay leaf and 1 cinnamon stick,followed by 1 tsp ground pomegranate seeds, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp red chili powder. 
  5. 5.10 seconds later add 2 tsp of ginger-garlic paste. 
  6. 6.Follow it by adding 3/4 cup of minced onions and brown the onions well for 15–20 minutes. Keep stirring to not burn the onions. 
  7. 7.Once the onions are brown (but not burnt) add the tomato puree, season with saltand 1 tsp ground coriander and cover on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  8. 8.Add the drained and cooked beans, mix well into the tomato base and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup water if required for a little curry. Bring to a boil, mix well and cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes. 
  9. 9.Garnish with sliced ginger and fresh cilantro.

Boiling the red kidney beans with cloves helps reduce the amount of ‘gas’ in the beans and makes for easier digestion.
The sliced ginger used as a garnish does the same and adds to the taste.

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