St John’s Wood
Rajma ~ Red Kidney Beans in a thick, wholesome gravy with whole spices. So comforting.❤️
As we enter our third full lockdown in the UK, I’m not going to lie – it’s getting hard not to be overcome with anxiety, negativity and frustration.
This lush bowl of beans came to the rescue yesterday. I have always been very fond of this dish and it’s also one of my husband’s favourites. It had been a while since I had made it last, but felt today was really what we needed.
The kidney beans are simmered slowly in a thick tomatoey sauce with layers of spices. On the side, a refreshing bowl of boondi raita (spiced yogurt with crunchy fried chickpea flour) and plain jasmine rice.
Here’s how I made it.
1 cup dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, minced finely
2 cloves garlic, grated
1-inch piece ginger, grated
2 green chillies, minced
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 dried red chillies (adjust to taste)
1 tsp turmeric
200g pureed tomatoes
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp amchoor powder (dried mango)
1 tbsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Coriander leaves to garnish
A knob of (vegan) butter (optional), to garnish
Rinse the soaked beans and pressure cook with 3 cups of water for 20 minutes. Reserve the cooking water.
Dry roast black peppercorns, coriander and cumin seeds, red chillies. Allow to cool, then grind to a powder. Set aside.
To a heavy bottomed pan add oil and add the onion. Sauté for about 30 seconds, then add grated ginger, garlic and green chillies. Season with salt.
Next, add turmeric, amchoor powder, ground spices and stir quickly. If too dry, add a few splashes of the beans’ cooking water and continue to mix. Stir in pureed tomatoes and a couple of ladles of water. Cook until the oil starts to separate and the sauce thickens.
Add garam masala last (as it’s made of roasted spices so doesn’t require cooking), beans and kasoori methi which you’ve crushed in your palms to remove any bigger stalks.
Cook for another 5 minutes. Top with freshly chopped coriander and a knob of butter/vegan butter if yo
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