After purchasing some red kidney beans from the bulk section at the grocery store as part of my new attempts to integrate more protein-rich legumes into my diet, I decided to finally make Rajma, the north Indian red bean dish that has been on my mind to make for several years. I ultimately decided to use the Madhur Jaffrey World Vegetarian Rajma recipe, though probably don't need to use a recipe in the future.
I soaked the beans overnight, and then cooked them for approximately 1 - 1.5 hours or until tender. I then placed the cooked beans in a seperate dish, and used the same pot to cook a chopped onion, garlic, ginger, chiles, tomatoes and spices, which included coriander, cayenne, and cumin. I then added the beans back to the pot with what I think was the secret ingredient - amchoor or dried mango powder. I think the amchoor powder really helped add a complex flavor to the bean dish. Although Jaffrey provides lemon juice as a substitute for the amchoor powder, I am not sure if the beans would have as interesting and nuanced of a flavor with that substitution.
The result was really fantastic - flavorful, complex and very filling. These beans totally blew out of the water my previous attempts at New Orleans red beans and rice, which had placed some doubt in my mind of how good cooked bed beans could ever be. I can definitely see rajma as a new part of our standard meal rotations.