So, I hadn’t done any grocery shopping for a couple of weeks, and I couldn’t really survive on what was in the fridge (three bottles of wine, butter, some pate and a handful of carrots – okay I could, but it’s not advised), so I dragged myself off to the shops. Determined to buy food and get out, naturally I ended up spending more money I don’t really have on things I don’t really need. Though I did wander into the bookstore, where I always end up buying something, and the first book I saw was Rick Stein’s India. I had been watching the series on television over the past couple of months had loved it, the look of the food (in particular the street food) and got me excited all over again for my trip to India next year! (Hopefully!!!) And for five pounds off, I bought it before I had a chance to see anything else I liked and could buy.
Once I got home I had a flick through all the recipes, settling on a kidney bean curry – Rajma – for dinner, basically because I love kidney beans, and it didn’t require meat, which was non present in the house at the time. I ran down to the corner shop (which has a full fruit and veg display along the sidewalk- handy) to grab a couple of veges and herbs I needed, and with the house to myself, took my pants off (as you do when your home alone), turned up some music and poured myself a generous glass of wine.
The recipe serves 6-8 people. I eat a lot, but not that much, so I just divided by 2. Enough for dinner and left overs.
110g of kidney beans (the recipe says dried kidney beans, and to soak them over night. No, I don’t have the time or more the patience for that, so canned kidney beans it is! Just give them a really good rinse – there is nothing grosser then unwashed canned beans)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
40g ginger, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (it says to use Kashmiri, I don’t even know what that is so normal chilli powder worked fine)
1/2 teaspoon garan marsala (used for a bunch of Indian cooking apparently, they only reason I even had it was because a friend was over a couple of weeks before making butter chicken. Proper butter chicken. Anyway, it can be bought in the spice section, so no biggie finding it.)
65g greek yogurt, full fat of course!
a cup of chicken stock, alternatively water is fine it won’t have as much flavour though.
rice to serve with, I used brown because I guess I’m being healthy or something.
lime, to serve
After heating the oil in a wide frying pot (so everything cooks more evenly obviously) to a medium heat, so nothing burns as everything seems to be cooked for quite a while, and fry off the onions, garlic and ginger for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Afterwards add the salt, chilli powder, garam masala and turmeric. The recipe does say to put the turmeric in the water with the beans, but since I skipped that bit I added it with the other spices. When cooking like this I like to add all the spices together in a bowl and add at once, kind of like a curry powder. Add it to the hot oil and onions and it makes a sort of paste.
Then add the yogurt and let it cook for a few minutes.
After, add the cleaned, drained beans and then cover with stock until just covered. Let this simmer for 10 minutes or until the curry is at a desired consistency. Stein recommends to mash a few of the beans on the side of the pot with the spoon to ‘thicken the gravy’.
And that’s it! Serve with the rice and a couple of lime wedges to squeeze over. I dropped a few coriander leaves on top, but maybe that’s just the chef in me, and some extra yogurt – because I looove greek yogurt!
The flavour was…intense. I mean I loved it, but the first spoon full of the curry straight out of the pot was quite strong for what my taste buds are usually use to. I think it is the garam masala which creates this flavour. Drizzled with lime and some yogurt though it tasted amazing!