A Sarcastic Appetite

Rajmah, or Red Kidney Bean Curry
May 13, 2013, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Recipes


I got on a chickpea salad for lunch kick awhile back – stop laughing, they were actually pretty good. There’s a “tuna salad” version and an “egg salad” version (plus relish, celery, and scallions). Don’t knock them ’til you’ve tried them – they’re delicious. I liked both, but was partial to the “egg salad” one because it basically tasted like the inside of a deviled egg with the veiled healthfulness of chickpeas. In a word, yum.

So I was on the hunt for a couple cans of chickpeas and somehow managed to grab two cans of red kidney beans instead. I am turning into my mother (the metamorphosis is almost complete). As a kid I’d go crazy when she’d return from the market with jalapeno-American cheese, or the wrong kind of milk, and I could never understand how she couldn’t see she was buying the wrong stuff and it was so important because I obviously didn’t want regular lemonade, I wanted pink lemonade! Oh, to be a kid again. I remember vowing I’d always get the right stuff when I grew up and had to do my own shopping. And there I was, with two cans of red kidney beans and zero chickpeas. Damnit.

But I vowed to find a use for them….it just took several weeks. Ultimately, the simplest recipe won out: rajmah, or red kidney bean curry. It’s a piece of cake to put together; saute some ginger and garlic with some onion and a green chile before adding tomato sauce, salt, and a bunch of spices you should already have in your cupboard. Add the kidney beans and let them cook down a bit; I let it go for longer than the recipe called for, but do what you like. The end result is delicious, and if you’re curious, quite nutritional too. The Nutritional Ninja remains skeptical about beans, which makes it a win-win: more for me.



Rajmah, or Red Kidney Bean Curry

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Serves 4.

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 c. minced fresh ginger

1 medium onion, diced

1 plum tomato, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 small green chile, mostly deseeded and minced

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. cayenne

1 Tbsp. butter

8 oz. can of plain tomato sauce

2 cans of cooked kidney beans, drained and rinsed well

1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro

yogurt, naan, or rice for serving



In a pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and chile along with the onion and saute until the onion is translucent, 5-10 minutes, but don’t let the garlic burn.

Add the tomato sauce, salt, and all the spices and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the kidney beans, along with one bean can’s worth of water and the tablespoon of butter. Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and become somewhat velvety. Serve over rice, or with naan, with a dollop of yogurt on top and sprinkled with cilantro.

2 Comments so far
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Comment by http://ayucintakamu.blogspot.com/

hello I made this today. It was very good. I didn’t have any kidney beans so I used black eyed peas. Next time I will use kidney beans. you didn’t say when to use the plum tomatoe so I just added it near the end. It was just spicy enough for me and tasty.

Comment by Kelly Norman

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