Kidney beans are my absolute favorite comfort food. The best time to enjoy them is for lunch, when the digestive fire (agni) is strong, and heavy foods can be processed quite easily by our system.
Note: Don’t be intimidated by the seemingly long list of spices in this recipe. I’ve marked ‘optional’ against the ones you can do without. Though of course, adding them to this kidney bean curry will add oodles of extra flavor.
What you need:
- 1 cup dried kidney beans, soaked overnight and cooked in salted water until butter-soft
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Vegetables & Herbs
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
- 1 heaped tbsp garlic, crushed
- 1 cup finely chopped red onions
- 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 whole cloves (optional)
- 1 black cardamom pod (optional)
- 4 black peppercorns (optional)
- 1-inch cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds (optional)
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- Cayenne pepper powder—to taste (optional)
- Salt to taste
What you do:
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil. Put in the cumin seeds, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorns, and wait for a few ‘pops’ to happen. This should take just a few seconds. (You can omit any or all of these spices, and straightaway add the onions if you prefer).
- Quickly tip in the onions, and stir well, followed by the crushed ginger and garlic. Lower the heat and cook until the onions are deep, rich golden in color.
- Add in the tomatoes, and the spice powders. Saute well, and cook on low heat, occasionally sprinkling a little water to make sure the paste does not burn.
- When the oil leaves the sides of the paste, put in the cooked beans and stir well to coat them completely.
- Add 4 cups of water, bring the curry to a boil and then cook on simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle cilantro leaves and enjoy hot with tortillas, chapati or basmati rice.
Kidney beans are a good source of folate, protein and fiber. They are also cholesterol-free and low in sodium.
Although these red beauties get a bad rep for causing “gas” and bloating, the addition of spices ensures you don’t suffer from those problems.