Rajma Bean Curry
“Keep It Simple, Stupid!”. It wasn’t a statement it was a command that bellowed across the salesroom floor.
Carl Everett was the smoothest salesman I’d ever met. To be fair I was still a teenager and easily impressed. However he helped shape my adolescent innocence into a heat seeking sales missile, shifting advertising space in the late 80s…not the most illustrious start to working life but I picked up a valuable set of skills which have helped me negotiate my way through life. I learnt the ‘Puppy Dog Close’ (the sympathy sell), “The Alternate Close’ (“if you don’t like it in black we do it in blue…which would you prefer?”), “The Stallone Close” (verbally punching your way to a ‘yes’). By far the sales principle which has guided me through life is K.I.S.S…Keep It Simple, Stupid.
In fact it’s the core premise behind this rich vegan crimson three bean curry known as Rajma (strictly only performed with kidney beans…but hey the curry police aren’t watching). The beauty in this dish lies in its humble simplicity, a tin of mixed beans (choose your favourite pre-cooked variety), tinned tomatoes and a dash of time.
The resulting is a resounding closed sale with your taste buds yelling ‘yes, yes, yes’. Packed with vitality and spice it’s the tastiest KISS you’ll experience.
Makes 4 portions
- 3-4 green finger chillies, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 5cm fresh ginger, chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 100ml rapeseed oil
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion, blended to a puree
- 1 x tin of chopped tomatoes, blended to a pulp
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbs coriander powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 100g fresh coriander, washed and chopped
- 200ml water
- 1 x 400g tin mixed beans, rinsed and drained (or use kidney beans to follow tradition)
- Juice of half a lemon
How To Make Rajma Curry
Crush the chilles, garlic, ginger with a pinch of salt blitz into a paste.
Using a large pan, heat the oil over a medium temperature for a couple of minutes then add the cumin seeds and swish through to scent the oil. As soon as they pop stir in the onion and cook until they’ve browned. Stir in the blended tomatoes cook for a couple of minutes and then add the chilli, garlic, ginger paste, stir thoroughly. Tip in the turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt, sugar and half the coriander. Stir well and cook for 3-5 minutes until the masala thickens, now add the water and simmer for 5 minutes until the spices have assimilated. Pop in the beans, cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat, squish the juice of half a lemon into the mix and then flutter in the remaining with the remaining coriander.