Jan. 2, 2011
Cookbook Countdown: 23 Days to Go: Rajma Masala
We all have ingredients we lean on and for me that's chickpeas (with tofu licking it's heels). I always fall back to chickpeas when I'm creating recipes because they're basically the plant-based version of chicken. They can and do go with just about anything...
However, I didn't want chickpeas to be my crutch when I was writing my cookbook and above all else, I wanted to showcase every bean and legume--really encompass and embrace all the variety legumes offer.
So, halfway through the writing process I made a list of every bean and lentil I could easily find at a supermarket -- a "to do list" if you will -- and then I put check marks next to each ingredient, noting how often they appeared in my cookbook...
Kidney beans were by far the most unloved---I hadn't created a single recipe that used them. I knew I could have made a chili (and I eventually did, the Chili Sans Carne is fabulous!) but I had to believe that kidney beans were more than a one-hit wonder. Surely they too deserved the chance to shine... right?
I made an aromatic tomato-based masala (Indian cuisine is my other crutch), dumped some kidney beans in and then slapped myself. It was just that good.
Perhaps what I love most about this dish is that it uses only a handful of ingredients--all of which you have in your pantry right nowand it comes together in a flash--about 5 minutes if you're quick in the kitchen.
Mmm yes. Kidney beans, I will never forsake you again.
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