Sunday, September 23, 2012

#233 Red Kidney Beans in Onion Gravy/Rajma

R and I are both recovering from a flu. No matter how dreadful I feel, my resilience is normally instantaneous. Being in the midst of people everyday, we are all prone to infections but most often I eat my way back to health...funny isn't it? Moreover, I feel a bit guilty since I caught something from work and shared it with my husband 'R'.
The last of this season- a night bloom from my deck
Is it so unfathomable that some foods can be healing for certain maladies? The truth is that I understand how my body reacts to certain foods and I've felt so much better after cooling with special spices known for their curing properties. To name a few -- ginger, turmeric, fenugreek, black pepper, garlic, lemon and honey. R may not completely agree with me. Although he believed it was more of  a 'myth', recently he is convinced that maybe there is an ounce of truth in the matter. Anyway, we are both bright, shiny and as good as new this week, so it's time to get back into the swing of things and get cooking with  a "grown-up" version of a few of these healing foods.

'Rajma' is the Red Kidney Bean which is a larger relative of the common Mexican red bean found in most American stores. Rajma is the name of this North Indian dish taking after the bean itself. When preparing Rajma, as is the case in most beans the dry version is much tastier than the canned beans. It takes a little extra effort to soak these overnight and then pressure cook them but all worthwhile. The thick, spicy onion gravy reminds us of all the different spices and the slow cooking of 'adraki' North Indian flavors.

 Dark Red Kidney Beans- 1 1/2 lbs
Onions- 3
Ginger-garlic paste- 2 Tblspns
Garam Masala- 2 tspns
Cumin powder- 1/4 tspn
Coriander powder- 1 Tblspn
Lemon juice- 2 tspn
Fennel seed powder- 1 tspn
cumin seeds- 1/4 tspn
Green chillies
Cilantro- 1 cup chopped.
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tspn
Salt and Olive oil to taste

1. Soak the Red kidney beans overnight with a pinch of baking soda. The next day rinse out the beans add turmeric, slit green chillies and cook in a pressure cooker until cooked. Maybe for one whistle. Remove and cool.
2. In a blender grind together onion, tomatoes and ginger paste.
3. Take a deep pan place over the fire and add oil. Splutter the cumin seeds and add the onion paste
and saute over low fire until the paste turns a deep brown color.
4. Slowly add the red kidney beans, garam masala, coriander, fennel seed and cumin powder cook until gravy thickens and the beans have absorbed the flavors. About 5-7 mins. Mash gently a few beans.
5. Remove from fire and serve garnished with cilantro. Best served with a sliced tomato, onion and cucumber salad along with steamed rice and a little pickle.


  1. Healthy and delicious recipe.. looks too good.. thanks for the recipe :)
    Indian Cuisine

  2. onion gravy? love that idea. why not? I have no idea why I haven';t tried that before. I am a sucker for gravy being from the south we have gravy with everything!

  3. I've never seen that gorgeous flower, wow so dynamic and pretty!

    I've never tried Rajma before. It must be delicious to dip chapati in there. :)


It’s always a pleasure to get feedback from all our readers. Please leave your name or contact info. Thanks for stopping by!

Print Friendly

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF