Rajma curry

This dish of red kidney beans in a light cumin-flavoured curry was a mainstay at home and is a dish I still love. Its hard to find in Indian restaurants, yet is a dish most of my friends love when they try it. It’s a great source of protein and doesn’t require any special ingredients, mostly just pantry staples. Perfect for a cold evening, its an easy weeknight dinner that can be eaten as a soup or with rice and yoghurt.


1 400gm can of kidney beans, drained and washed (about 250gm drained)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ghee or sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
A 1 cm long stick of cinnamon 
A 2 cm sliver of ginger, peeled and lightly smashed
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
chopped coriander, to garnish
Salt to taste

Heat the ghee or oil in a deep non-stick pan or a kadhai. Add the cumin, ginger and cinnamon stick and heat gently for about 30 seconds, until the cumin starts gently sizzling. Add the chopped onions to the pan and stir through to mix. Continue to cook on medium heat until the onions are lightly browned and then add the tomatoes to the mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are cooked through but not dried through, about 7 - 8 minutes. Add the turmeric, chilli and cumin powder and stir well to mix. Cook the spices through for a minute and then add the drained beans to the mix. Stir everything through and cook for 2 minutes, then add one and a half cups of water to the pan, and salt to taste, stir through and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and allow the curry to gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. The sauce should have a silky texture by now, and the beans should be soft and cooked through. Turn off the heat, transfer the beans to a serving bowl or divide between two soup bowls or plates and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve hot, with natural yogurt on the side and rotis or rice as an accompaniment.

Serves two as a main or four as a side dish

Prep time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 25 minutes


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