Rajma – Red Kidney Bean Curry

Posted By Stephen


Last week we had decided to cook a bean-based curry this week. Having had sausages last night for the first time in ages, we were in the mood for sausages again today, but bean curry it was. That probably wasn’t a very good place to start as our hearts weren’t quite in it, however we pressed on against the odds. We had already soaked the beans overnight anyway.

We did follow a recipe to some degree, but changed a few things along the way.  What we ended up doing was something like this:

2 cans worth of dry red kidney beans, soaked overnight
cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 medium-sized onions chopped fine
2-inch piece of ginger, cut into julienne strips
6 cloves of garlic minced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 fresh red chilli finely chopped
2 tsps coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of asofetida
coriander leaves, chopped

First boil the soaked kidney beans hard for 20 minutes, then rinse them thoroughly under running water before simmering them until they are done.  This needs to be done to remove toxins from the beans.

Heat some oil in a deep pan and add the cumin seeds.  When they stop sizzling, add the onion and fry till soft.  Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 2 minutes.  Add the chopped chilli, coriander, cumin, turmeric and garam masala and fry for a few minutes to cook the rawness out of the spices.

Then add the tomatoes, cooked kidney beans, two cups of warm water, asofetida, salt to taste and cook for ten minutes.  Mash some of the beans and stir them back in to thicken the gravy.  Garnish with corainder and serve with basmati rice and salad, pickles, etc.

I quite liked this in some ways but Kerri wasn’t that keen on it.  Being used to Indian dishes that are marinated for a long time or contain sauces with heavily cooked down onions, this dish with its short cooking time seemed a bit like separate ingredients combined together rather than a cohesive dish.  However, that did make it fresh and interesting.  And tasting some leftovers from the pot afterwards, it had taken on a little more of a combined flavour from resting.

Jul 14th, 2009

3 Comments to 'Rajma – Red Kidney Bean Curry'

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  1. Nicola said,

    My boyfriend and I cooked this dish tonight – our first attempt at any of your recipes after recently discovering your blog. We copied it pretty much to the letter (and it was very nice), however we were unable to get hold of any asofetida. What is it and what flavour does it add to a dish?

  2. Kerri said,

    I’m glad you liked it, Nicola. This is the first time we’ve used asofoetida, we got ours from Sainsbury’s. Wikipedia says that the taste is reminiscent of onions and garlic or leeks. It’s hard to say what it adds given that I’ve not tried the dish without but if you enjoyed it without then I wouldn’t worry too much about hunting it down 🙂

  3. Katie said,

    That looks delicious and so comforting, especially during the colder winter months. I might just have to give this a try!
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Wedding (Cup)Cakes =-.

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