Hi and welcome to my food blog! This is my first post ever though I have been thinking about it for a long time, too long perhaps! Please bear with me until I master this blogging thing, especially the technical details and the photography. Time has gotten away from me as I obsessed over what to name the blog, the perfect recipe to use to kick it off, etc. Finally I decided to just move on and post a simple, home-style dish. So without further delay, here is my first post:
Rajma Kodel is a simple to make, garlic-y, spicy, slightly sour kidney bean entrée usually eaten with rice. This is one of the first recipes that my husband got from his mom after moving to the US in 1990. We made this often in the early years when we didn’t have a lot of money to spend on food. Now our kids love it (minus the red chilis) so we make it at least twice a month. I usually use dried beans but canned beans work beautifully in a pinch. You can also add more chilis and/or garlic depending on your mood. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
- 3 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans (1.25 cups dried kidney beans, soaked, cooked and drained OR 2-15 oz. cans of kidney beans, rinsed and drained)
- 2 to 6 dried whole red chilis (or you can leave out altogether)*
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil (or other oil for sautéing)
- 1 tbsp. tamarind paste
- 3/4 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut powder or flakes (or fresh / frozen unsweetened coconut)
- salt to taste
- 6-12 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Place 2 1/2 cups of the cooked kidney beans in a sauce pan with water to cover. Turn on the flame to medium-low to simmer. Place the rest of the beans in a blender or food processor (blender works best).
In a small pan, heat the oil and add the red chilis. Fry for about 1 minute until they start to get a little crisp and browned but not burned. Put the chilis only (reserving the oil in the pan) on top of the beans in the blender/processor. Add the tamarind paste, coconut and salt to the blender. Cover with water just to the top of the beans. Blend to make a thick creamy gravy.
Pour the gravy into the pan with the simmering kidney beans and mix gently. This should be slightly thick but you may need to add a little more water. Don’t make it too watery like a soup though!
Finally, fry the sliced garlic over low heat in the reserved oil until just slightly browned and fragrant. Pour the garlic and oil over the gravy and kidney beans and mix gently. Serve over rice with a vegetable on the side. Happy eating!
*To make this kid-friendly, I first make the recipe without the fried red chilis. Split the batch between two pans, fry the red chili and blend with a little water and add it to the “adult” batch. Voila! One spicy, one not!