While I brew my green tea on summer afternoons, my lil daughter napping, I also prepare dinner side by side, it is such a pleasant time to dig pockets of such spontaneous memories when I am all by myself in the house. It’s a warm feeling – nostalgic & bitter – sweet at the same time.
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
- 1 cup red kidney beans, raw (make sure the beans are not more than 6 months old, I buy my stock from Whole Foods)
- 3.5 cups water
- 2 cloves
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 tejpatta (indian bay leaf)
- 1/4 heaping cumin seeds
- small twig of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1-2 fresh Thai green chillies, whole or slit (adjust to tolerance)
For the Sauce
- 5 tbsp mustard or olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes (slightly sour)
- 1.5 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder/cayenne (adjust quantity to tolerance)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp amchoor (dry mango powder)
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- Chopped cilantro
Cooking the beans
Note – Skip this step if using canned beans, add the whole spices listed under cooking the raw beans at the time when you make the sauce.
Soak the kidney beans in enough water overnight or for at least 8 hours. This is an important step if you are using raw beans, if not soaked enough, the recipe will not turn out well. Once the beans have swelled, drain and discard the water. Transfer the kidney beans to a pressure cooker. Add 3.5 cups water, cloves, cardamom, tejpatta, cumin, cinnamon, oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Close the lid of the cooker and pressure cook on medium heat for 2-3 whistles or till the beans are 95% cook. An easy indicator to know if the beans have cooked is that the skin starts peeling off from few of them but the shape is intact. You could cook the beans open in on stove top till tender for approximately 45-50 minutes.
Once the beans have cooked, pick up the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, tejpatta and discard. Transfer the cooked beans and stock to a bowl and mix in the ginger and whole chillies. Let sit while you make the sauce.
Making the Sauce
In the same cooking pot/pressure cooker that you boiled the beans,add the oil and heat on medium till you see ripples on the surface.If using mustard oil, you will need to heat tills it’s about to smoke so that the raw smell goes away.
Reduce heat to slightly and add the finely chopped onions and garlic and cook them till golden brown. About 6-8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the tomatoes next along with chili, coriander,turmeric and amchoor powder. Cook this masala on low heat till the oil starts separating from the mix along the sides of the pan. About 10-12 minutes. If you see masala sticking to the bottom of pan, add some stock. Cook thoroughly.This slow cooking is very important to develop flavors and color of the paste, please do not rush.Allow the masala to reduce till it acquires beautiful reddish to brown color.
Add the boiled beans to the pot next along with all the stock.Check and adjust the salt. Add the garam masala & kasuri methi. Cover and let simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes.
Once the beans have simmered, removed from heat and let sit undisturbed for 2-3 hours.
Serve warm garnished with cilantro.
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!