A while back I was looking for a vegetarian chili recipe and stumbled upon Padma Lakshmi’s, Rajma recipe. I tried it and loved it! Love Padma too, big Top Chef fans over here. This also happens to be the first recipe I made when I decided I was committed to starting a food blog; so I took lots of pictures in my poorly lit kitchen, and got to work, loving each step of the way (even the pictures). This recipe is equally special to me because I am fortunate enough to be using the garam masala and turmeric straight from India. A longtime family friend, and once neighbor to my grandmother, brought some spices back from his trip. I am lucky, and thankful, to reap the benefits of his long journey. Thank you, Tom.
Rajma is one of my go-to’s when I want something quick, healthy, and meat free (and one I almost always have all the ingredients on-hand). I’ve added turmeric to this dish for it’s wonderful health benefits, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, just to name a couple. I like to serve the Rajma over jasmine rice and accompanied by a piece of naan bread. If you are looking for a delicious bean dish that is packed with flavor, your search is over…
this is, Rajma:
Indian Spiced Vegetarian Chili – Rajma
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 small or medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (or 4 ripe tomatoes, diced
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1 15 ounce can of red kidney beans
- Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
Time to Cook:
In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, heat oil on medium-high heat. When oil is hot add onion and pepper, and sprinkle with salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (1/4 teaspoon), sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic, tomatoes (reserve can with 1/2 cup of water), ginger, cumin seeds, Garam Masala, turmeric, and red pepper flakes. Let simmer for 10 minutes or so.
Add kidney beans, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of water (from tomato can, if using), let cook another 5 minutes.
Adjust seasoning, add salt, pepper, and more lemon juice if needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over rice, or with some naan, or both. But most importantly, ENJOY!