All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
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I had a half bag of dry red kidney beans in my cabinet & spontaneously decided to soak them overnight. It produced 8 cups of soaked beans so this is a large quantity style recipe. It is simple & delicious & pretty healthy. And can be vegan. If you make this giant quantity – freeze some up for future use on a lazy night. Serve with some fluffy basmati rice & you have an easy Indian dinner.
As an aside – I had my red food dye out for my failed Tandoori Cauliflower and added a few drops to my Rajma – to boost the color.
Please pardon this deluge of Indian recipes. I recently watched an incredible documentary called Blood Brother & it just got me craving Indian food. If you get an opportunity – you MUST see this film. It is devastating & inspiring at the same time.
Red Kidney Bean Curry or Rajma
8 cups red kidney beans – AFTER pre-soaking or quick soaking (method below) – or canned beans, drained & rinsed
I 6oz can tomato paste
2 tomatoes – diced – divided into two portions
3 jalapeno peppers – seeded
3 serrano peppers – seeded
10 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 TBS ground coriander
2 TBS ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
3 TBS ginger paste
6 TBS ghee or olive oil
Cilantro – diced fir garnish
Paprika as garnish
Salt to taste
Red food coloring (optional)
Soak your beans (probably about 5 cups dry) overnight or quick soak them.
“Dried beans should be soaked in cold water overnight to ensure even cooking. But what if you didn’t plan ahead? Try this quick-soak method:
Rinse beans in cold water. Put them in a large pot and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Bring almost to a boil (small bubbles appear around the edges of the pot), cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 1 hour. Drain. The beans will be “soaked” and ready to cook.”
Puree ONE tomato & the tomato paste & 1 TBS water in a food processor. Set aside.
Mince all the seeded peppers in the food processor with the ginger paste & the garlic. Set aside.
Mince the onions in your food processor.
Heat the ghee or olive oil in a large stock pot. Add the onions & saute until they soften.
Add the minced garlic & ginger paste & pepper mix. Saute a few minutes to blend then add the garam masala, coriander, cumin & turmeric. Blend & then mix in the tomato paste blend. Heat to just bubbling & reduce heat to low & saute, stirring often, for about 30 minutes. Add the other diced tomato & the beans & 6 cups of water if using dried beans. If using canned – start with two cups of water & see how that goes. Add more if you need it – or cook it off if the curry is too thin.
I simmered my beans for a good two hours, covered & on low heat. This isn’t required with canned beans. Check your beans for your desired done-ness. Add water if they are too thick. Increase heat & cook off water if they are too thin. Add salt to taste. Add red food coloring, if using – and blend. Serve with rice & chopped cilantro & a sprinkle of paprika.