Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Red Kidney Bean Stew (Rajmah)

The US Presidential elections are soon coming up in November.  The candidates are current President and Democratic candidate Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.  So far it seems a tight race.  It is the elections for the President of the US, but we all know that the person chosen to the Oval Office would have implications on the whole world.  The policies of the new President would directly influence the world economy and more importantly the direction the world would go towards – War or Peace.  So then I ask myself – if the President of the US is more than just the Commander-in-Chief of the world’s most powerful nation, should we all not have say in choosing him/her? 

Foreign policies of nations like the US affect us all.  The person elected to be the next President of the US brings with him his ideals and his advisors.  Every important decision taken by the President regarding foreign policies no longer just affects the Americans – it affects a poor farmer trying to make his living in Afghanistan, it affects my friends’ husband who is in the Army, it affects those millions in the Middle East on how they would be perceived in the future, it affects the future of my children.  With powers come responsibilities – and responsibilities not towards a nation but towards the world and its future. 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes + 3 hours soaking time
Serves: 4


225 grams red kidney beans or rajmah
225 grams medium sized potatoes
225 grams ripe tomatoes
10 grams coriander seeds
30 grams sunflower oil
3 dried red (or Kashmiri) chilies
10 grams fresh ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of saffron
A pinch of cumin seeds
A pinch of mace
6 cloves garlic
115 grams red onions
¼ teaspoon red color
1 cup water
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon coriander leaves, for garnishing


  1. Wash and soak kidney beans in water for 3 hours.  Pressure cook the beans in 1 cup water for 15 minutes or till cooked.  Keep aside.  
  2. Peel and cut potatoes into cubes and soak in cold water.  
  3. Blanch the tomatoes and keep aside.   
  4. Chop onions.  
  5. Lightly roast the chilies, coriander seeds and the cumin seeds and grind it together with the ginger and garlic.  
  6. Heat oil and saut√© the onions.  
  7. When they become translucent, add the ground spices and fry well for 3 minutes.  
  8.  Now add the kidney beans along with the water and half the saffron.  
  9. Add nutmeg and mace and color and cook for 5 minutes.  
  10. Add the potatoes and salt.  When the potatoes are tender, add blanched and pulped tomatoes.  
  11. Simmer till thick.  Add the remaining saffron and cook on low flame, covered, for 10 minutes.  Serve hot with bread or chappatis after garnishing with coriander leaves. 

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