December 16, 2009

Spicy Red Kidney Bean Curry


I never thought I’d say this, but I am cheesed-out. If I see one more cube of cheddar or oozy wedge of brie, I just might lose it. Furthermore, I think I’ve had quite enough wine and cookies. It’s not that I don’t love the holiday food — I do; I even thought it was high time for an eggnog recipe the other day. But sometimes all the heavy treats start to feel like they are stalking you this time of year, dogging you down a dark alley with a tray of more cheese, more cookies, and another glass of wine tucked inside his long dark trench. When I have a moment alone between booze-fueled holiday gorge-fests, I find myself seeking reparations.

What do you turn to for that healthy kick between holiday parties? I find myself wanting protein-packed meals that welcome a big salad or bowl of broccoli on the side. Maybe your idea of healthy doesn’t include a rich red bean curry, but mine does. It takes a bowl of spiciness to wake my taste buds from their cheese and cream sauce slumber. This curry is an Indian cousin of your favorite kidney bean chili, and if you already have the spices in your pantry (and I hope you do so you can make mulligatawny), this dinner costs mere pennies, making it a fast and affordable dish to have in your repertoire. If you live in an apartment building, you will definitely fill the stairwell with heady aromatics, but I always like to come home to the signs of cooking, even if the smells come from behind some else’s door.

Recipes from Decembers past:
Spicy, Sweet & Salty Rosemary Nuts
Soup for a Rainy Winter Night
Nigella’s Roquamole

Spicy Red Kidney Bean Curry [Rajmah]
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 plum tomato, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large green chili, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
8 ounce can of tomato sauce
3 cups boiled red kidney beans or 30 ounces canned red kidney beans
chopped fresh cilantro, nonfat Greek yogurt, and/or rice to serve

Heat oil in a deep sauce pan over medium heat for one minute. Add ginger, garlic, onion, green chili, and let sizzle for one minute. Add the tomato sauce, salt and remaining spices and cook for an additional five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the kidney beans, tomato, and plus cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and let cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro and/or yogurt, spoon over rice and serve.

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  • Rebecca: I just made this last night! And you’re right – it is ridiculously cheap, hearty, and a nice break from the usual. Yay! :-)6 years ago

  • The Single Gal: Yes! I told a pal the other day that I really just wanted a salad & a steak – no more sweets!6 years ago

  • BethP: I made this the other week and it was frickin’ amazing. I also cooked the kidney beans from scratch and feel so resourceful having some stashed in the freezer now.

    Eggnog recipes: I have a good one, if you’re looking. I’ve never actually made it myself–the men in my family are responsible for the eggnog–but I think I will attempt it Christmas Eve as I’ll be at my husband’s for the first time, and it wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without a bit of eggnog and a sugar cookie before the midnight church service…6 years ago

  • Wow, I guess when you make something that’s been on Smitten Kitchen, everyone’s already made it! But at least I have corroboration of its deliciousness.

    BethP, Look at you and your beans from scratch! I would loooove your eggnog recipe — also, why is it that so many men are in charge of eggnog-making? I know other families where the guys mix it up, too. Fascinating…6 years ago

  • Crystal: No no! Please keep posting. SK is one of those sites I usually PLAN to visit, but often forget. Not PoP, though! :)6 years ago

  • Oh don’t worry, Crystal. I plan to keep on doing what I’m doing… :)6 years ago

  • bluejeangourmet: Rajmah is truly comfort food–I grew up eating it regularly (it was my Dad’s favorite). It’s also a great slow-cooker recipe, since, like most soups & stews, it just improves the longer you can simmer it.6 years ago

  • Heather: I *love* Deb’s rajmah! Glad to see more fans.6 years ago

  • Kim: Thanks Sarah, I made it tonight and it was delicious! I used canned chilis, no chopping required and more mild.6 years ago

  • Leslie: I just made this for New Year’s Eve dinner. It was awesome. Half a jalapeno and I used Rancho Gordo Christmas Lima Beans. Alton Brown’s oven baked brown rice. Even the 8 year old thought it was fantastic.6 years ago

  • Oooh, I hope I have an 8-year-old who will eat curry!6 years ago

  • Katie: Looks divine! I’m making this tonight!6 years ago

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