High on protein and versatile, kidney beans is a healthy option to experiment with. Here are a few recipes

Rajma, the versatile kidney beans, are a reddish brown, strong-flavoured and hold their shape well even after cooking. They are used in soup, salad, cutlets, curries; their texture lend themselves to rice dishes too. The beans are available in small as well as big sizes. Soaking them in water prior to boiling eases the cooking. They are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fibre, as are most other beans. The fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making it a good choice for people with diabetes. They are also a good source of protein, vitamin, phosphorous, iron, copper, magnesium and potassium.

Here are a few recipes with rajma.

Spicy Rajma Soup

Ingredients

1 cup cooked rajma

1 kg tomatoes chopped

2 finely chopped onions

3 cloves garlic

4 tbsp boiled macaroni or noodles

Half tsp chilli powder

Half tsp pepper powder

Half tsp sugar

Oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Grated cheese for garnishing

Method

Heat oil in a pan and deep fry onions and garlic for three or four minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute. Add six cups of water and cook till the vegetables are soft. Allow it to cool and blend this mixture in a liquidiser. Strain. Add the rajma, macaroni, chilli powder, sugar, salt and pepper. Serve hot garnished with grated cheese.

Rajma Masala

Ingredients

1 cup rajma or kidney beans

2 onions chopped

3 tomatoes chopped

2 green chillies slit

1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

Half tsp chilli powder

Half tsp garam masala powder

1 tsp rajma masala powder

Half tsp coriander powder

2 tbsp cream

1 cinnamon

1 big cardamom

2 cloves

2 or 3 whole black pepper

1 bay leaf

Oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Method

Soak rajma overnight and drain the water. Pressure cook with enough water for four or five whistles or till rajma is soft. Keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and fry cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper and bay leaf. Add the chopped onions. Sauté till transparent. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another two or three minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, slit green chillies. Mix well. Add salt, chilli powder, garam masala, rajma masala powder, coriander powder and cook on low flame until raw smells goes away. Add rajma along with the water, mix well and cook on low flame with lid covered till gravy thickens. Lastly, add cream and mix well. Just heat it for a minute. Serve with rice or chapatti.

Rajma Dal

Ingredients

1 cup soaked rajma

1 cup chopped tomatoes

A few curry leaves

A handful of chopped coriander leaves

2 green chillies chopped

1 small ball of tamarind squeezed into juice

1 tsp chilli powder

Quarter tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp sambhar masala powder

Half tsp mustard seeds

A pinch of asafoetida

1 tbsp ghee

Oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Method

Wash and cook rajma in sufficient water till very tender. Let it cool. Grind cooked rajma with water in a mixer and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and asafoetida, allow to splutter. Add curry leaves, green chillies, tomatoes, stir fry for two to three minutes. Add all masala powder, mix well and sauté for one or two minutes. Add rajma mixture, salt, and cook for till gravy is slightly thick. Add tamarind juice, stir and transfer into a serving dish. Garnish with hot ghee and chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice.

Rajma salad

Ingredients

1 cup boiled rajma

1 onion chopped

1 tomato chopped

1 small cucumber chopped

1 green chilli chopped

Half tsp roasted cumin seeds powder

Half tsp chaat masala powder

1 tbsp lemon juice

A few drops of salad oil

Salt to taste

Method

Mix beans, onion, tomatoes, cucumber, green chillies, cumin seeds powder, chaat masala, salt and lemon juice. Mix well and add salad oil. Place in refrigerator before serving.