Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rajma II (Traditional Red Kidney Beans)

Rajma II or Red Kidney Beans is a very traditional stew - sans all the veggies I typically like to add :D. It is really quite simple to make and a real winner! It is usually served over rice - "rajma-chaval" but is also delicious with chapatis and other Indian breads like naan. Just as I do with the other rajma, I often like to serve this one also on its own with a side of salad or raita.

For more information on bean facts and preparation, read this post. Beans of all kinds freeze beautifully; so I always cook a double or triple batch so that one or two portions can be added to other dishes and/or frozen for another day. Canned beans and tomatoes may be used to make Rajma.

4 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup Red Kidney Beans (rajma)
1-2 Dry Red chiles
1 Bay Leaf
1 Black Cardamom, crushed slightly
1 thin slice fresh Ginger
1 Tbsp Ghee/Oil
1 Red Onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh Ginger, minced
1 fat clove Garlic, minced (optional)
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Paprika
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground Red Pepper (cayenne)
2 large Ripe Tomatoes, peeled & chopped
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
Chopped Fresh Cilantro, for garnish

Method:

Soak the beans overnight, drain, rinse and cook in fresh water to cover with the whole chiles, bay leaf, cardamom, and ginger until soft but not mushy either in a large pot or using a pressure cooker. When cool, fish out the spices and discard.

Heat the ghee/oil; cook the onions, with a pinch of salt until soft and beginning to turn golden.

Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute; add spices and cook for another minute.

Add the tomatoes and cook until they are soft and saucy.

Stir in the beans with their cooking liquid and salt to taste; simmer on low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes stirring occasionally to make sure they do not burn.

Sprinkle the Garam Masala, stir, cover, and let rest for a few minutes.

Serve hot garnished with cilantro with plain rice, pulav, or rotis and a salad or raita. Enjoy!!

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