Beans are a godsend when one is trying to cut carbohydrates from the diet. When rice is a major part of the diet and the bulk of cooking involves making dishes to be eaten with rice, cutting out rice is not an easy task. Reducing the quantity of rice is a bad idea, after a while hunger strikes and gorging on something from the pantry is even worse.
Beans offers a good way out in reducing simple carbohydrates like rice. Increasing protein in the diet in the form of beans and lentils seem to do the trick. Soaking beans a couple of nights a week has become a habit now. They get added to vegetables, rice and sometimes even sambhar. To counteract the flatulence problem I use ginger liberally. Another important thing to note is to not use the soaked water and to rinse the beans at least a couple of times after soaking. I usually discard the water in which the beans were cooked as well.
A few days ago I soaked Red Kidney Beans as I have been having Rajma dreams. The traffic in the evening had other things on mind. Backup on the roads for no apparent reason and I was late,tired and frustrated with half a mind to store away the soaked beans for a later date. It was doable if I switched Rajma and rice to e Rajma rice. Thus was born a one pot meal which made the whole family happy.
1. 1 1/2 Cups of Red Kidney beans soaked overnight rinsed and set aside
2. 1 1/2 Cups of Basmati rice (or any rice of choice)
3. 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
4. 4-5 garlic cloves sliced
6. 1/2 cup tomatoes chopped fine
6. 2 tbsp grated ginger (don’t skimp on the ginger folks!)
7. 2 tsp of cumin powder + 1 tsp turmeric powder
8. 1/2 tbsp of red chili powder (substitute with sliced green chilies)
9. a handful of coriander leaves chopped
10. seasonings: cumin seeds and curry leaves
11. salt to taste
12. 1-2 tsp of oil
1. In a sauce pan add the beans and cover them with water and let it cook for 8-10 minutes, for enough time till they are ready to be added to the rice. The intent is to cook them partially so they finish cooking with the rice
2. In a pressure cooker heat oil and add the seasonings let them be for a few seconds
3. Add the onions and saute till they are translucent, add in the ginger and garlic and saute till the onions start to brown
4. Add in the chili,cumin powders and turmeric powders and mix it in
5. Now add the tomatoes and cook till they are mushy and soft, add in the coriander leaves
6. Add in the rice to the onion mixture, and also drain the beans and set it aside
7. Set the water for the rice to boil on the side (this is not a required step just speeds up the cooking process)
7. Saute the rice, add salt and the required amount of (boiling) water and when the mixture comes to a boil, close the cooker lid and let it cook in medium heat for 8 minutes.
8.Let the cooker cool completely and fluff up the rice
Serve with raita of choice.