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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rajmah - Spicy Punjabi Kidney Beans

This recipe is in honour/memory of Dr. Sharif Said, who enjoyed this dish with tamarind. He enjoyed many dishes if it had tamarind and so I've added it for your enjoyment as well.
(Photo coming later today)

My neighbour gave me a large bag of locally grown kidney beans. I haven't cooked with them in ages since I hadn't really enjoyed them. Making this dish, I've changed my mind on kidney beans. Yummy! I recommend soaking dry beans overnight and not using the tinned beans. If you are using tinned beans, rinse them thoroughly in cold water.


2 cups red kidney beans, washed thoroughly, soaked and cooked
1 medium yellow or red onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tbs + olive oil
2 medium-sized tomatoes diced (about 1 cup)
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped or grated (2 tablespoon)
3 cloves garlic, chopped or minced (1 tablespoon)
2 – 4 green Thai, Serrano or cayenne chilies, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp red chili powder (cayenne)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 - 2 tbs tamarind paste
good pinch or two of salt
6-8 cups water (less if you want more of a chili effect)
1 bunch fresh, chopped cilantro (1/2 cup)

Sauté onions over medium heat in olive oil. Add chopped tomatoes, chilies, ginger and garlic. Add dry spices and cook until soft. Add beans and salt and tamarind and cook until the beans break down and become thick and somewhat creamy.

When finished, take an immersion blender and press it about four times to break up some of the beans. If using a blender, take out about a cup and process in the blender, then put this back in the pot. Be careful not to process all of the beans. Most of the beans should remain whole.

Stir in the cilantro.

Serve over a bed of rice with yogurt. Some enjoy a dab of butter on each serving.

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