Monday, August 6, 2012

Rajma Masala with Spinach

While I do still find time to cook in between applying for jobs, blogging has fallen by the wayside.  I made it a point to blog about the delicious red kidney bean dish we made last week, though.  We made Rajma Masala with Spinach--a creamy, filling Indian dinner. 

Rajma Masala served with rice and a samosa wrap.

Recipe:     
Rajma Masala with Spinach
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (or just add equal parts ground black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon)
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup unflavored tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 - 15.5 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 - 15.5 ounce can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 - 9 ounce bag fresh spinach (or more or less, to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup vegan sour cream

First, heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté until it begins to brown.  Then add the ginger, garlic, and 2 tablespoons water; cover and cook for two more minutes, stirring frequently.

Next, add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, garam masala, chili pepper, tomato sauce, and cilantro. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Then add enough water to get a saucy consistency.

Finally, add the beans, spinach, and salt and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until spinach has wilted and flavors have combined. Remove from heat, mix in sour cream, and serve immediately with rice.

Serves 4-6


Comments:
Taste:       
The creaminess of this dish was definitely the highlight.  Rachel was pleasantly surprised that we were able to bring the smooth texture that she loves about Indian food to a vegan dish.  The dish wasn't too spicy--especially when combined with rice--but it still had a rich, complex flavor. 
Accessibility:    
At first glance, this dish might seem unmanageable.  Between the fairly unusual spices and the vegan sour cream, this recipe loses some of its accessibility.  However, we were able to find all of these spices and the vegan sour cream (Tofutti brand) at our usual grocery store.  You might be surprised what you can find quite easily these days.
 Ease of Preparation:        
This is a pretty straightforward recipe.  The Rajma Masala doesn't take too long to make, but rice can take a while.  Just be sure to start the rice before beginning this recipe.
Non-vegan friendliness:       
As I mentioned, we all loved the taste and texture of this dish.  Even though it was filling, we all wanted more.  I wrote that it serves 4-6 because it barely got the three of us through 2 dinners!

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