Rajma Masala

Rajma Masala

Flavor abounds in this slightly exotic veg dish that is simple to make but complex in taste. A medley of onion, ginger, and garlic underscore a red bean base with a rich tomato gravy. Native to northern India, this dish is easily prepared with most ingredients found in your pantry. While you are out and about this weekend, pick up any of the ingredients you may not have around your kitchen for one of the most flavorful Meatless Mondays ever. If you do not already keep ground coriander or garam masala in your pantry, you should start now!

1-2 large peppers (bell pepper is just fine or choose a spicier pepper to suit your taste)
1 onion
1 to 1 1/2″ piece of ginger, peeled
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
4-5 medium tomatoes OR 1/2 can tomato paste
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can light red kidney beans
1 1/2 Tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon (scant) cayenne
1 teaspoon whole coriander (not necessary, but certainly wonderful)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (don’t skip this!)
Salt to taste

Chopped cilantro, diced onion, strained plained yoghurt (Greek style in America)

1. In a large skillet, sauté sliced peppers in a little oil.
2. In a food processor, blend the onion, peeled ginger, and garlic to a paste, but reserve some onion to dice for garnish.
3. When peppers begin to change color, add onion-garlic-ginger paste and cook a few minutes until in starts to turn golden brown.
4. Add the ground coriander, cumin, and cayenne. Cook another minute or two to bring out flavors.
5. Blend tomatoes in processor and add to skillet OR add tomato paste with about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups water. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
6. Add drained beans to skillet and water to suit you preference (reserved juice from beans adds flavor and body) and the whole coriander if you are using it. Simmer 15 minutes or so…. or less if you can’t resist the temptation, and depending on your preference for thickness.
7. Add garam masala and salt to taste, cook another 2 minutes to bring out flavors.

Garnish with diced onion, chopped cilantro, and perhaps a small dollop of plain yoghurt. Serve with rice.

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