Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rajma Masala

Rajma Masala - for honoring Kali

2 cups kidney beans, soaked over night
1-2 bay leaves
1-2 onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon each finely chopped/grated ginger
1-2 tablespoons finely minced garlic 1
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon asafetida powder, optional
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons red chili powder
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped, or one small can
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons ground coriander
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
Finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves for garnish

Cook the kidney beans until they are soft. Some recipes recommend a pressure cooker but most people don’t have these. You’re more than welcome to use canned kidney beans, which most people can get. They’re safer. If you’re using canned beans, use two large cans.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Add the cumin seeds and let them sputter for a minute. Add the bay leaves, asafetida (if using), garlic and ginger. Stir-fry so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the onions and fry until lightly golden. Add the rest of the spices except the garam masala. Add the tomatoes. Fry for 5-6 more minutes.
Add the beans and either a ladleful or two of the cooking water, or a 2 cups of regular water. Add salt to taste. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add the garam masala last. Cover and turn the heat to low. Let the dish simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes. Garnish with the fresh cilantro leaves. Serve with Basmati rice.

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