Legumes play a big role in the regular Indian diet. Today’s recipe is a simple but fragrant cranberry beans cooked in a sauce flavored with cinnamon, cardamom, coriander and other fine spices.
I think I am getting (de)famed for posting only salads and soups . I do cook other fancy things, but most of the time I try to keep our meals simple but healthy – a lot of raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy protein. My family has learned to appreciate eating healthy food – yes salads and soups and meals that are not greasy and overcooked. They often reach out a fruit, nuts or raw vegetables for snacks. Not that I deprive them of the unhealthy snack and store bought goodies, but they are rarely used in my home. We do indulge sometimes . When I am cooking feast for a party or some special occasion I lose the energy and enthusiasm to go through the process of taking pictures and writing; which is why those recipes usually do not see the daylight of my blog. I do not cook for the blog; the blog is instead fed by what I cook. It is a clear reflection of our lifestyle. However I will try to make an effort to post non salad and non soup items ;-D
I do have a long list of some special good recipes that I want to post and also try out from different blogs; but then I have my lifetime to blog – hopefully! Till then do bear with me and thanks for stopping by!
Today’s recipe is not a salad or a soup; it is a simple preparation where any kind of bean (red kidney, navy beans, black eyed peas etc) may be used. I have used the cranberry beans that I had won from Susan’s MLLA (hosted by Sia). Thanks Hurst !
This is what the Cranberry Beans look like:
Curried Cranberry Beans
- 4 Cups Cooked Cranberry Beans
- 1 Large Onion, peeled and sliced in thin half moons
- 1.5 inch fresh Ginger, grated/minced (or 2 tablespoons ginger paste)
- 3 Cloves of Garlic, mashed/minced (or 1 tablespoon garlic paste)
- 1.5 Tablespoons Coriander powder/Dhania powder ( I get the coriander seeds and grind them at home)
- 2 Small Green Cardamom
- 2 Cloves
- 1″ piece of Cinnamon Sticks
- 1.5 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1/2 Cup Tomato Puree, combined with 1/2 Cup water
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 Tablespoon Red Chili Powder (Optional)
- 1/4 Cup Oil (I have used Canola)
- Lemon, Fresh Cilantro/Coriander, sliced onions and green hot peppers for garnish (Optional)
If you are using the dried beans as I did, the best way to prepare them would be to soak them overnight before cooking them. I have pressure cooked the beans as I always do; it takes the least amount of time; about 6-8 minutes after the pressure builds up. They may also be simmered and cooked. Cook the beans with water and salt till tender but not mushy. Set aside.
Place a thick bottomed pan on the stove. Dry roast the cardamom, clove and cinnamon till fragrant. Pay attention and see they do not get burned. Add the oil in the pan and add the cumin seeds. When the seeds sizzle, put the onions in the oil and fry till some of them start browning and they are clear. Add the ginger and garlic; stir them well for them to combine and cook at medium heat while frequently stirring and tossing till the entire amount has reduced and the oil separates from the sides.
Add the mix of tomato puree and water, salt, turmeric, coriander powder and red chili powder. Toss again to combine and simmer till the tomato is cooked and you see the oil separating from the mushy mix from the sides. Add the cooked beans and toss them well till the spiced tomato and onion mix coats all the beans well. Cook everything together for about 5 – 7 minutes at medium heat.
Add about 3 cups of warm water to the beans (use more or less water as per how much sauce you would want); bring it to a slow simmer and cover and cook for about 10 -12 minutes.
Squirt some fresh lemon juice and garnish with fresh cilantro, onions and hot green pepper and serve hot with rice or flat breads.
Methi Dal (Lentils with Fenugreek Leaves)