Kidney beans are a staple around our house. I make Rajma at least once per week – varying the spices to avoid monotony. Aside from being a tasty, versatile protein, kidney beans are reportedly good for improving cholesterol levels too. I soak and cook the kidney beans myself and freeze in 2 cup portions. That method is shown below, after the rajma recipe, but canned beans work just fine.
1 – 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium-sized onion, in small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/2 inch piece ginger, grated
4-6 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp.red pepper (cayenne), to taste
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
2 cups cooked kidney beans
Optional additions or omissions: 1/2 tsp. cumin powder; 1/2 tsp. coriander powder; 1/4 tsp. paprika; 1/2 tsp. chilli powder; omit ginger; increase the amount of tomatoes
Warm the oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion and saute over low heat til lightly browned (about 8-10 minutes). Add garlic and ginger, cook for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, salt and all preferred spices. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, about 10 minutes (stirring occasionally) til a sort of tomato pulp is formed. Then add the kidney beans and 1/2 to 1 cup water. Bring to boil again and reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust spices. Serve hot over rice.
How to Soak and Cook Kidney Beans:
Pick over dry kidney beans to remove any debris. Rinse the beans and then soak in plenty of cold water overnight.
In the morning, drain* and rinse the kidney beans, fill the pot with plenty of fresh water and bring to a full boil and boil at least 10 minutes*. Skim off any foam, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about two hours, or until beans are soft.
Remove from heat, add a bit of salt to taste and let sit for 10 minutes or so. Drain and cool. Use directly or freeze in portions.
*It is important to discard the soaking water and to boil at least 10 minutes to remove toxic effects of kidney beans. Click the ‘Kidney Beans’ link to learn more.