Rajma or kidney beans are kidney shaped red color beans which are very rich in fiber, protein, iron & many other nutrients. Although these beans have many health benefits, under cooked and raw beans are toxic. Dry beans need to be soaked for at least 5 hours and cooked in boiling water for at least 10 minutes to deactivate the toxins. Beans are very hard and need to be cooked for at least 30 - 45 minutes to cook them. I usually use a pressure cooker as it is faster to cook. It is also very important to discard the water in which the beans were soaked. Main symptoms of poisoning from under cooked or raw beans are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and these symptoms will go away in few hours. Source: Wikipedia. The beans are completely safe and are healthy when properly cooked and the toxic levels are so low that the symptoms disappear in a few hours. Please do not stop using the beans fearing the small toxic levels. Again, properly cooked beans are safe and loaded with nutrients.
Considering the health benefits these beans have, U wants me to include these beans in our diet once in a while. I am not very fond of kidney beans and do not like the taste as such. Since U insists I cook these beans, I make kidney beans rice once in a while. I prepared this rice for the blog for my last week’s blogging marathon but did not need to post it, as I already had enough recipes for the marathon. Here is a simple rice preparation which I usually serve with riata or some spicy gravy/curry.
Total Time: 35 - 45 minutes
Preparation: 15 - 20 minutes (excludes soaking time of beans and used a pressure cook to cook the beans)
Cooking Time: 20 - 25 minutes
Measuring cup used here is the cup that comes with the rice cooker.
- 1 ¼ cup dry Rajma / Red Kidney Beans (after soaking, it was 3 cups of beans)
- 5 – 6 tbsp. Oil
- 9 Cardamoms
- 5 Cloves
- 3-4 Bay Leaves
- ½ tsp. Caraway Seeds
- ½ large Onion sliced
- 1 cup loosely packed Mint Leaves
- 6 – 9 small Green Chilies split into two (adjust to taste)
- 1 ½ tbsp. Ginger Garlic
- 1 large Tomato or 1 ¼ cup chopped Tomatoes
- ½ tbsp. Salt(adjust to taste)
- 3 cups Rice
- 5 cups water (to cook the rice/pulao)
- Cilantro chopped
- Soak rajma overnight or for 24 hours and pressure cook with little salt until cooked. I soaked mine for a day and pressure cooked it with some water for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release, remove the beans from water and keep it aside.
- Wash rice and soak it for 30 minutes.
- Chop mint, tomatoes and all the vegetables required for the preparation.
- In a pot, heat 5 cups of water. This step is optional.
- Heat oil in a pan and lightly roast cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, caraway seeds, and bay leaves.
- Add onions and sauté for a minute.
- Add mint leaves & green chilies and sauté until chilies are lightly roasted.
- Add ginger garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell disappears.
- Add tomatoes, salt, cooked rajma and cook it for a few minutes until tomatoes are well cooked.
- Remove rice from water and drain it. Add it to tomato rajma mixture and sauté rice for few minutes.
- Add hot water (the first step in the preparation) or room temperature water and mix well. Cover the pot and cook it on high heat until water comes to a boil. Continue cooking it for 2-3 minutes. When the water is almost evaporated, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until rice is cooked.
- Sprinkle cilantro, mix well, turn off the heat and serve hot with your favorite gravy or raita.
- I soaked 1 ¼ cup dry kidney beans/rajma and after soaking for 24 hours, the beans were 3 cups. I did not measure the beans after pressure cooking. I do not think the beans increased in volume after pressure cooking them. I used 1:1 rice to soaked beans ratio and I felt I could have cut down a little on the beans. If one likes kidney beans, I think they can go with this ratio. I felt 1: ¾ cup rice to soaked kidney beans might be the right proportion for this pulao. Use the rice to beans ratio as per your liking.