The Kidney bean also known as Rajma in India is a variety of the common bean Phaseolus vulgaris. The term ‘Kidney bean’ refers to the shape of the bean, but it is also true that native Americans used the bean to treat a variety of kidney and bladder complaints. In India, especially in Punjab and other northern states, kidney beans are the quintessential north Indian dish. Prepared as a thick curry with red kidney beans being the chief ingredient and lots of Indian whole spices, the dish is served with hot rice.
- Energy booster
Kidney beans are high in iron, which helps increase your energy levels. Iron is required for the body’s metabolism and energy production and helps move oxygen throughout the body.
- Good for bones
Kidney beans contain phosphorus, magnesium, copper and manganese all of which play a role in bone mineral density. Increasing your mineral uptake will lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, keeping you strong and active as you age.
- Aids in weight loss
Kidney beans are rich source of proteins. Protein is more filling than either carbohydrates or fat. The increased satiety experienced after consuming kidney beans may help you eat fewer calories throughout the day helping to promote weight loss.
- Helps in lowering cholesterol
The high content of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre in kidney beans lowers cholesterol levels in the blood. High fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
- Boosts circulation
There is an impressive amount of iron in kidney beans, Iron is a key component in the production of red blood cells, so a diet high in kidney beans will boost circulation and cardiovascular health.
- Combats Diabetes
Kidney beans have a much lower glycemic index compared with other carbohydrate rich foods, likely a result of their fiber and resistant starch content. The glycemic index of beans ranges from 29 to 38 compared with 50 for brown rice and 55 for rolled oats.
Tips for preparing and cooking
Kidney beans should be presoaked to shorten their cooking time and make them easier to digest. There are two basic methods for presoaking. Start by placing the beans in a saucepan with two to three cups of water per cup of beans. The first method is to boil the beans for two minutes, take pan off the heat, cover and allow to stand for two hours. The alternative method is to simply soak the beans in water for eight hours or overnight, placing the pan in the refrigerator, so the beans will not ferment. Before cooking the beans, regardless of pre-soaking method, drain the soaking liquid and rinse the beans with clean water.
How to use / cook
- Combine cooked kidney beans with black beans and white beans to make a colourful three bean salad.
- Mix with tomatoes and scallions and dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.
- Serve cooked kidney beans over a piece of cornbread and top with grated cheese for a twist on the traditional tamale pie.
Kidney Bean Curry
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- Fresh coriander leaves
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 can of kidney beans
- Cooked rice
- 2 teaspoons of garam masala
Method: Heat a saucepan, add vegetable oil and saute sliced onion for 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and coriander and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the spices and stir thoroughly for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and kidney beans and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the curry is thick. Pour the curry over the cooked rice, serve and enjoy!
- Taco shells – 3
- Rajma(Kidney beans) – 1/2 cup
- Onion – 1 medium sized
- Lemon juice – 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
- Jeera – 1 tsp
- Tomato Sauce – 2 tbsp
- Cheese – 3 tbsp
- Salt – for taste
- Olive oil – 1.5 tsp
Soak rajma in water overnight for at least 6-8 hours. Pressure cook rajma until soft. Set aside. Heat olive oil in a pan add jeera allow it to crackle. Then add onions, saute till slightly browned. Then add the cooked rajma, pepper powder, tomato sauce, required salt and mix well. Once the rajma is well blended and is saucy, switch off. Sprinkle lemon juice and keep aside.
Now to assemble the tacos with salsa : Take a tacos shell, add prepared kidney bean salsa to it. Grate the cheese to cover the salsa and sprinkle little pepper powder.