Monday, March 7, 2011

Lucknow Red Bean Chili aka Rajma

You may remember me talking about my favorite farmer at our local Farmers Market.  He always has interesting stuff.  When I went to the market a couple weeks ago, he had these red beans.  Man, were they delicious.  I was so excited to find some locally grown, dried beans.  I had to use them right away. 

I am so looking forward to the market and all the fresh produce.  For me it is one of the best aprts of summer.  I am gearing up for my garden right now as well.  I am going to fertilize this year.  We plant the end of May so I want to get the fertilizer on this month so it has time to settle in.  Even though we compost, our composter only makes so much as it is a contained unit.  I need to get my little tomato seedlings going.  I saved some of my Purple Cherokee Heirloom seeds.  I hope they produce.  I am a little nervous about it.  I am only going to do a few.

Lucknow Red Bean Chili (Rajma)
Adapted from India The Vegetarian Table by Yamuna Devik; CHronicle Books San Francisco

2 tablespoons ghee
1/2 teaspoon ajwain seeds
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
pinch of asafetida
1 inch nub ginger, grated
1 quart tomatoes
1.5 to 2 cups bean cooking liquid
6  cups red beans, drained1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
salt to taste

Heat ghee (you can use oil if you do not have ghee) in a large pot such as a Dutch Oven.  Add the following spices: ajwain seeds, garam masala, chile powder, asafetida and ginger.  Cook until mixture becomes aromatic.  Do not let it burn or it will turn bitter.  Add the onions and cook until they become soft.  Add tomatoes, beans, bean cooking liquid.  Cook with lid off for about 40 minutes.

If you soak your own beans, remember to soak them in water the night before.  Cook the beans in a pot with water and a bay leaf until they are tender and then you should proceed with the recipe.


Murasaki Shikibu said...

I have friends from Lucknow. Other than that I love the execution of this. It looks great!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'd love to make this, but I have no idea where to find the spices! Internet trolling here I come!

Mary said...

This really sounds delicious and doable. Have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

grace said...

the only beans i've ever grown or really known anyone to grow are green beans. i wouldn't mind some local red beans!

kat said...

I always get excited when I find local dried beans too