Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rajma (Red Kidney Beans)

Kidney beans are high on fiber and iron, with one cup providing ~50% of your daily dietary fiber needs, and ~30% of your iron quota. An added benefit is that it tastes fantastic (unlike the health food Ezikiel cereal I bought yesterday..."Umm, gravel..." said my husband as he chomped into it this morning!)

I picked up a bag of rajma (red kidney beans) a couple of weeks ago. It's easier if you buy canned kidney beans, but it's easy enough to cook the beans from scratch.

Ingredients:
Two cups of red kidney beans (or two cans of kidney beans)
One onion
One tomato
One teaspoon of coriander powder
One teaspoon of garam masala
Half a teaspoon of turmeric
Two teaspoons of salt

  • Soak two cups of kidney beans in 6 cups of water, since the beans expand - soak it overnight
  • After the 8 to 10 hours of soaking, drain the beans. If using canned beans, you don't need to have soaked the beans, of course!
  • Start by boiling the kidney beans in a pot in fresh water for around 20 minutes with a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of turmeric
  • Chop up the onion and fry it in a separate pan
  • When the onions turn golden, toss in a chopped tomato
  • As the tomato starts softening, add the rest of the dry ingredients (one teaspoon of coriander powder, one teaspoon of garam masala, one teaspoons of salt)
  • Once the onion, tomato and spice mixture softens and gets to a lumpy consistency, mix it into the boiling rajma
  • Stir in the spiced mixture. As the rajma softens, crush some of it - about two tablespoons - against the side of the pot, since that will give the curry some body (otherwise, you'll have the beans sitting separately for the watery liquid).
  • Test the rajma, but about 20 to 25 minutes on the stove should do the trick
Lunch today was interesting: I ate my Rajma rather conventionally with rice, K mixed it in with lettuce as his own impromptu salad dressing and D ate it with pasta shells!

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