rajma

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Also Known as
Kidney beans

Description
Just as its name suggests, the kidney bean is shaped like a kidney. A dried kidney shape bean that is reddish brown in colour, strong flavoured and has a slight mealy (powdery) texture. The beans have a strong musky and nutty aroma and a full, chewy taste. The skin is thick and has a slightly sweet aftertaste. This deep red, kidney-shaped bean is used a lot in Mexican cooking and in India is flavoured in some Punjabi dishes where the beans are known as rajma

Red rajma
True to their name, these popular beans are kidney shaped. Since these dark red beans hold their shape really well during cooking and readily absorb surrounding flavors, they are a favorite bean to use in simmered dishes. It is available in small as well as big sizes, hence purchase as per the need.

Black rajma
Kidney beans and other beans such as pinto beans, navy beans and black beans are known scientifically as Phaseolus vulgaris. They are referred to as "common beans".
It is available in small as well as big sizes, hence purchase as per the need.

Boiled rajma
Washing the rajma and then soaking it prior to boiling eases the cooking. Bring water to a boil. Add Red Kidney beans. Let it cook for 5 minutes and shut off the heat. Let rest for 12 hours or overnight at room temperature. After pre-soak is done, drain and rinse beans. Add pre-soaked beans, and water to a pressure cooker. The water should top the beans by about 2". Lock in the lid. Turn on heat. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Wait till the pressure has dropped. Remove water from the pressure cooker leaving behind just enough water to make sure that beans are submerged. Also, you can boil it in a large pot, place soaked rajma and cover completely with water. Add salt to taste. Cook it with a lid on it. Remove from heat and drain it. Also, it can be cooked in a pressure cooker. The cooking time depends upon one's cooking method. Boiled rajma can be eaten hot, warm or cold - as per one's choice in various recipies.
Soaked rajma
Soaking rajma is very easily done at home. Rajma soaked are very easy to cook and one can use it instantly. To soak them, wash them thoroughly, check for any stones and then soak it in luke warm water. One is to change the water from time to time while you're soaking or cooking the beans. Pouring off the water helps gets rid of the indigestible complex sugars that create gas in your intestine. It also helps to cook the beans thoroughly, until they can be easily mashed with a fork.
Soaked one can be steamed, boiled, fried - used as desired with minimal amount of time. Also, can be sprouted and added to salads. Soaked rajma can however, be used in any dish of your choice.

Soaked Rajma needs special storage, as in one should use the soaked rajma within 2 or 3 weeks of time. Long storage could cause an undesirable odour. It is best however, to store in refrigerator in an air tight container, allowing no moisture or 0air contact.

Soaking rajma does not cause any nutrient loss; infact helps remove the indigestible complex sugars that create gas in your intestine. Soaking and using further as desired is however is a good option for people have gastric troubles.
Sprouted rajma
Clean the rajma to remove dirt, grime and stones, if any. Wash well under running water and then soak for overnight in water. Cover with muslin cloth or cheese cloth. Place this in a warm area which will induce germination. Once germination begins, the sprouts will begin to grow. Ensure that you keep changing the water. Within 24 to 26 hours, small edible shoots begin to appear. Always wash gently and then use in recipe. Ensure that you don't expose these sprouts to sunlight.


How to Select
Kidney beans are readily available in the grocery stores. It can be bought dry or canned.
Choose even shaped rajma.

Culinary Uses
· Rajma curry is extremely popular not just in North India but elsewhere as well. Serve Rajma with plain boiled rice, Cucumber salad and your favorite pickle.
· Rajma is popular dish in Punjab region.
· Since these dark red beans hold their shape really well during cooking and readily absorb surrounding flavors, they are a favorite bean to use in simmered dishes.
· Kidney beans are gorgeous and versatile beans are often used in chili, refried beans, soups, and salads.
· Before you cook them, pick through the beans and remove any stones, broken beans, or other bits of debris. It isn't unusual for a bit of the bean field to end up in the bag, along with your dried beans. Put the beans in a large, heavy-based pot, cover them with cold water. Usually three to six times the dried beans, and bring the water to a hard boil. Reduce the heat and let the beans simmer.
· One is to change the water from time to time while you're soaking or cooking the beans. Pouring off the water helps gets rid of the indigestible complex sugars that create gas in your intestine. It also helps to cook the beans thoroughly, until they can be easily mashed with a fork.
· Beans require salt, to bring out their full flavor. Adding salt and acids inhibit water penetration and, when added too soon, can toughen the beans.
· Add beans gradually to your diet. Try bean soup, humus, kidney beans in a salad.
· Include beans, peas and lentils in soups or pasta dishes.
· Their strong colour, robust flavour and meaty texture make them welcome additions to salads, soups and rice dishes.

How to Store
Always store dry kidney beans in a dry airtight container at room temperature. Do not store dry bean in the refrigerator. Once cooked, beans can be kept in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 5 days and in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months. Beans are best used within one year. They can lose their moisture and take longer to soak and cook. Always rinse and sort beans before cooking. Beans and lentils can have very small stones but this is rare. Small stones are difficult to remove from beans and lentils because stones are organic and have to be removed by human hands.

Health Benefits
· Kidney beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans.
· In addition to lowering cholesterol, kidney beans' 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.
· Beans are low in fat and loaded with nutrients, and we'd probably eat more of them if they weren't also loaded with flatulence-producing enzymes.
· Kidney beans are an excellent source of folate, dietary fiber and manganese.
· Kidney beans are a good source of protein, thiamine (vitamin B1), phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, and potassium.




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Canned red kidney beans
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