Kidney Bean Curry Soup
One thing I would say is key to “survival” as a vegan, is a good collection of protein rich dishes and dishes which leave your belly really satisfied. This for me is one of them. It’s hearty, nutritionally rich and in no way labour intensive to make.
Most popularly it is served with rice and chapattis in India, but what I love is that it completely holds its own as a standalone dish. It makes a truly comforting soup with the warmth from the ginger, fresh green chillies and ground cumin and coriander… so soothing for a cold or for bringing comfort on a cold and rainy day.
Packed with protein, rich in fibre and low in fat, it’s a recipe which regularly features in my household.
This recipe is quite different to “Rajma”, the North Indian version of this curry and a well-known restaurant dish. Made typically with garlic, ginger, chillies, onions, garam masala, butter or cream, Rajma is a wonderfully indulgent dish. But on a day-t0-day basis I like to avoid cooking with overly strong spices which leave my belly feeling under attack. I favour simple home cooking which is also easy on the waist like… using simple ingredients to create bowls of pure goodness.
- • 2 cups dried kidney beans soaked overnight in 8 cups of hot salted water and cooked in pressure cooker next morning for approx. 30mins or until the beans are squeezable soft (or two tins of pre-cooked kidney beans)
- • 1 cup tomato puree
- • ¾ tbsp cumin
- • ½ tbsp ground cumin and coriander powder
- • thumb size ginger, finely chopped or grated
- • thumb size cinnamon stick broken into 2-3 pieces
- • 2 green chillies finely chopped
- • 10-12 curry leaves
- • 1 tsp sunflower or vegetable oil
- • 1 tsp red chilli powder
- • 1 tsp ground turmeric powder
- • squeeze of lemon
- • salt to taste
- • coriander for garnishing
- Heat oil on medium heat.
- Add cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks and curry leaves. Be careful not to burn the cumin seeds, we are simply looking to toast them until slightly golden to cook away their rawness and release their earthy notes.
- Add the finely chopped ginger, green chillies, ground turmeric powder, red chilli powder and ground cumin and coriander powder. Toast the spices on a low to medium heat for 2-mins to cook away their rawness and release their natural oils. Toasting off the spices in this way will really help to add a depth to the dish.
- Add the tomato puree, a good squeeze of lemon and mix well. Let this cook for 3-4mins or until the gravy starts to bubble.
- Now add the kidney beans, including the cooking water (or preservation water if you are using tinned beans).
- Using the back of your spoon, mash the beans 3-4 times against the side of the pen, adding both texture to the gravy and a wonderful creaminess. Mix well and simmer on a low to medium heat for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Finally check the seasoning. Add extra salt, chilli and lemon as necessary, although you may find as the beans were salted in the cooking process, additional salt may not be necessary.
- The gravy should be the consistency of single cream, perfect for eating with rice or as a soup. If you prefer a thicker gravy, ideal for serving with chapattis or pitta bread, simmer with the lid off until you achieve your desired consistency.
- Garnish with chopped coriander before serving.