EFFORTLESS RICE AND BEANS RECIPEJump to Recipe Jump to Video
Costa Rican Gallopinto, Brazilian Feijoada, Puerto Rican Arroz junto, Columbian Calentao, Cuban Moros y cristianos, Ghanaian Waakye, Indian Rajma chawal a.k.a rice and beans, Venezuelan Pabellon criollo, American Creole beans and rice etc. Like the above mentioned beloved entrees, this effortless rice and beans Indian recipe is a dish, where both rice and beans are combined to form one complete meal.
Not only this super healthy dish has all nine essential amino acids required for our bodies making it a “complete protein”, this blend of two staple foods is also extremely affordable!! In fact, these are also the least expensive plant protein source around.
No wonder variations of these two are available in so many forms amongst many cultures. Mostly consumed by religious vegetarian groups, and now embraced by new world “vegan and vegetarian” movements – beans are the epitome of rustic simplicity.
ORIGIN OF BEANS
Numerous sources have provided evidence for the scope of cultivation and consumption of beans. Ancient Egyptian tombs from the 3rd century B.C. at Thebes contained the remains of a lentil paste, indicating that lentils were a favorite food of the people back then. Ten thousand-year-old lentil remnants were discovered on the banks of the Euphrates River in Syria.
As early as the 7th century B.C., chickpeas were used in vegetable soup in ancient Gaul. In the “Illiad,” Homer compared arrows bouncing off Menelaos’ breastplate to chickpeas being flung by a winnower. Chickpeas were discovered in Bronze Age sediments in Jericho and Babylon on the far side of the Mediterranean.
While the common bean, lima bean, and pinta, or cranberry bean, were first domesticated in the earliest Mexican and Peruvian civilizations more than 5,000 years ago and were well-liked in both the Aztec and Inca cultures.
The use of legumes as a basic dietary staple can be traced back more than 20,000 years in some Eastern cultures. The preparation of lentil soup under the reign of Ramses II is seen in a fresco from the 2nd century B.C. However, lentils were considered “poor man’s meal” in ancient Greece.
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Rajma Chawal – Indian rice and beans
- 1 ¼ Cups Red Kidney Beans, Dry, unsoaked
- 1 Cup Onion, pureed
- ½ Cup Tomato, pureed
- 1 Green Chili
- 1 Tbsp. Garlic
- 1" piece Ginger
- 1 ¼ Tbsps. Tomato Ketchup
- 2 Tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 2 Black Cardamom
- 2 Bay leaf
- 2 Tsp Salt
- ½ Tsp Red Chili powder
- 1 Tsp Garam masala, homemade or store bought
- 1½ Tsp Rajma masala, optional
- 1 Tsp Cumin powder
- ½ Tbsp. Coriander powder
- 1 Tbsp. Fenugreek leaves, also known as Kasuri Methi
- 2 Tbsps. Fresh Coriander Leaves, chopped
- 4 Cups Water
- 4 Tbsps. cooking oil
- Soak Red Kidney Beans or Rajma for 8 hours. The beans double in size after soaking, so you will get 2 ½ Cups.
- Blend onions, green chili, garlic & ginger into smooth puree.
- Blend tomatoes into smooth puree.
- Take oil in a pan, add bay leaves, black cardamom, cinnamon stick to it.
- Fry the whole spices on medium heat, till they turn light brown.
- Add cumin seeds, pureed onion, salt, red chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder, rajma masala and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add pureed tomatoes and mix thoroughly.
- Cook the mix for 10 minutes on high heat.
- Once the oil starts separating from the mix, add tomato ketchup and kasuri methi.
- Mix thoroughly, the oil will completely separate from the mixture.
- In the pressure cooker or instant pot, add beans followed by cooked onion-tomato mixture. Coat the beans with mixture and for 5 minutes
- Pour 3½ cups of water to the cooker or instant pot.
- Add ½ Cup water to pan used for mixture. Scrape off any leftover mixture. Add this water to beans.
- Taste test the water to check salt and tanginess from ketchup. Add more if required.
- Close the pressure cooker lid and turn the heat to high.
- Once the cooker whistles, turn heat to low and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Once all the steam is out or the cooker cools down, open the lid to check if beans are done.
- If beans are soft and mushy, add cilantro and coriander powder. Otherwise cook for another 5-10 minutes with the lid on.
- This mouthwatering red kidney beans are ready to be served with rice, roti and salad.
- A fresh stock of dry, unsoaked beans will cook faster than aged beans. An aged bean is the one that has stayed on shelf for a long time and was not sold. Always buy food from well establishes stire that carries fresh food. I prefer purchasing mine grocery from a local Indian store.
- Soaking beans is an essential part of this recipe. Soaking helps with easier and faster cooking of the beans. It also helps with easier digestion and does not cause flatulence as well cooked beans are relatively easier to digest.
- Always wash and rinse the beans after soaking a couple of times till water runs clear.
- Those unfamiliar with pressure cooker can use instapot or cook in an sauce pot with lid. The cooking time with vary.
- Instead of fresh tomatoes, you can use canned tomatoes as well.
- If you do not have time to soak the beans, alternatively canned red kidney beans can be used for this recipe. Drain all the liquid from the can and place the beans under running water till water comes clear. Check by smashing a bean between your thumb and fore finger to see if the beans are well done or al-dente.
- If the beans are well done – add it to onion tomato mix, stir for 5 minutes before adding water. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes till it starts boiling. Turn off the heat and serve.
- If al-dente – add water to a sauce pot, add beans, cover with a lid and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes till well done. Then add the onion tomato mixture and follow the steps given above.
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