At the start of the COVID19 restrictions in the UK, we bought a few longer life products while everybody else was panic buying food that would go off in a week.

One of those items was a 1kg pack of dried kidney beans - the sort of thing I was used to seeing in jars in the pantry when I was growing up, but nothing I'd personally bought before!

After the first couple of weeks of adjusting our normal shopping to account for the items that weren't available in the supermarket, everything went back to normal - we were able to ride out the panic buying without joining in or even queuing for hours to get into supermarkets, but that's another story for another time!
Five or six weeks in, we started to look at what we could do with the dried beans!

I found a recipe for a kidney bean rajma on a website called Where is my spoon which looked to be tasty from the ingredients and decided it was worth a try.

I'm by no means a vegetarian (I used lamb stock in this recipe simply because I had some in the freezer), but this curry is hearty and substantial enough without the addition of meat. I've adapted the wording in the method slightly to make it easier for me to follow.

I reduced the chilli flakes down to a quarter teaspoon in an attempt to make it less spicy for our youngest - even then it was a little too hot for him, but because of the rest of the spicing in the recipe it remains a tasty curry even with reduced chilli.

Kidney Bean Rajma

Makes about 4 adult portions

200g Dried Kidney Beans (or 2 tins)

1 tbsp Vegetable Oil

1 tbsp Salted butter

½ tsp Cumin Seeds

2 Pods Cardamom

2 Medium Onions

2 Garlic Cloves

1 Thumb Sized Ginger

½-1 tsp Chilli Flakes

4 (250g) Ripe Fresh Tomatoes

2 Bay Leaves

¼ tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Ground Coriander

½ tsp Garam Masala

500ml Stock From Cooking Beans (or veg)

3 tbsp Double Cream

2 tsp Lemon Juice

  Sea Salt

Fried Onions

1 tbsp Vegetable Oil

1 Medium to Large Onion

½Thumb Ginger

  1. Soak the dried beans overnight in plenty of water.
    Next day, drain them and cover with water in a medium pan.
    Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until the beans are tender.
    Drain the beans, but reserve at least 500ml of the cooking water as bean stock.
  2. Finely chop the onions, grate the garlic and the ginger. Chop and puree the tomatoes.
  3. Heat the oil and the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and the cardamom pods and stir for one minute.
  4. Add the onions and cook until golden.
  5. Add the garlic, ginger and chili flakes. Stir for about ½ minute.
  6. Add the puréed tomatoes, bay leaves, turmeric, ground coriander and garam masala, stir well and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the beans and the bean or vegetable stock and some salt.
    Simmer without a lid for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  8. Meanwhile prepare the fried onions. See below for the recipe.
  9. Remove about 75ml of the beans from the curry (with a little sauce).
    Purée them and put them back into the curry to thicken. Add the cream, stir well and reheat the curry for 1-2 minutes.
  10. Season with fresh lemon juice and salt.
  11. Serve with rice and topped with the fried onions (optional).

Fried Onions:

  1. Thinly slice the onion. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions on medium high heat until golden and soft.
  2. Peel and grate the ginger add to the golden onions and stir for another minute.

Useful items for this recipe: (Amazon affiliate links - as a member of the Amazon affiliate links, I will benefit from any purchases made via these links)

Braun MultiQuick Vario Blender