Straight from the memory of one of my favourite ladies, Nidhi, this recipe quickly became a staple and a comfort meal for James and I. I used to work with Nidhi and we spent many (extended) coffee breaks discussing food and recipes – especially the Indian recipes she grew up eating and making. I told her one day that I needed a good, healthy recipe for beans that I could make any night of the week and she quickly scribbled down the ingredients you see to the left. I made it that night and I never looked back.
I still follow the ingredients as detailed in the picture. If you are shy of spice or cooking for kids, you will want to reduce the red chili powder by half and consider reducing or eliminating the green chili. And think of the proportions as a guide – I usually eye-ball it.
Makes 3 large or 4 regular portions
1. Wash dry kidney beans, then put in a large bowl and cover with plenty of water. Leave them to soak overnight.
2. In the morning, drain the water, add the beans to a slow cooker and add enough fresh water so that the top of the water line is about 1 inch above the beans. Add salt and half the red chili powder, stir and set slow cooker to high for 8-9 hours (8 should do it if they’ve soaked overnight). Move to next step when beans are ready.
3. Heat ~1 T oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute until golden.
4. Add diced tomato and cook until you can mush the tomato down with the back of a spoon/spatula and start to make a sauce – add a little water from the beans if it’s sticking to the pan. You now have the Masala!
6. Add the beans with the water to the sauce (you should have about 1.5 cups of water left in the beans, any excess can be drained).
7.Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer about 1 hour (you can get away with 40 minutes if you’re in a hurry).
8. Taste beans, adjust seasoning as desired and top with fresh chopped cilantro.
I usually serve this over steamed rice, but it is also great with naan. Baked cauliflower or a crunchy salad nicely rounds out the meal. Thanks Nidhi!