Amit's Punjabi Rajma

After our trip to Oktoberfest, this was a pretty sober week. We also tried to eat healthy to make up for all the damage done. My coworker asked me today if I brought any beer back from Germany. My answer was, "Yes, 4lbs of it right here!!!" (grabbing a handful of my enlarged love-handles).

But today was another coworker's birthday, which meant a fatty slice of chocolate cake for everyone. And although I'm proud of myself for trying out the Core Fusion workout at Exhale today, the wine I made Piccata with last night was beckoning me when I got home.

My legs were shaking so bad on the way home. I knew there was no way I'd be standing in the kitchen cooking dinner, and absolutely no way I could go out. I needed to sit, ASAP. Apparently, mother-in-law put a bug in my husband's ear today, while he sat at home watching movies on the 52" tv. She told him he should cook me dinner, since he was just sitting around all day. Alright, I'm in! No control-freakiness in the kitchen today, I promise! I just want to sit in his spot on the couch, text people like he does when I cook, and watch House Hunters International. For a change.

So I took him up on his offer. He even went to the convenience store to buy beans while I was showering. Soon enough, we had piping hot bowls of Rajma and naan in front of us. And all I had to do was help him find a couple spices. He worked hard, but go ahead and be jealous of him and not me tonight, for he shall be rewarded!

Amit's Punjabi Rajma
6-8 servings

1 T Olive Oil
1/2 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1" (1 tsp + ) Ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp CuminSeeds
2 Plum Tomatoes, diced
1 tsp Cayenne
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1T Garam Masala
2 14oz cans Red Kidney Beans
2 8oz cans tomato sauce (no salt-added)
2/3 C water
2 tsp dried Fenugreek leaves
Handful of Cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a deep skillet. Add onions and saute until golden.

2. Add ginger and garlic, cooking a few minutes

3. Add cumin seeds and stir in. Cook until aromatic and they start to smell good.

4. Add tomatoes, cayenne, turmeric, and garam masala. Stir and continute to cook a couple of minutes.

5. Add beans, tomato sauce, water and fenugreek. Cover, and simmer 15-20 minutes. After about 10 minutes, add the cilantro. 

6. Season with salt and serve with naan or rice.


Michael said…
Hey. I just found your blog, although it may be too late to say what I want to say since it appears that your culinary adventures have taken a back seat to other things. But here goes… why in the hell, since you're a foodie and are married to an Indian, have you not gotten into Indian cuisine?!

Granted, I'm a bonafide Indian-food fanatic, so that's why I'm looking at you across cyberspace with an expression of shock and bewilderment right now. :) But seriously. Indian food is one of the most amazing foods on the planet. You have an entire world — nay, universe — of dishes to explore. What better cuisine to master than Indian since your hubby hails from that part of the world.

Here's one of the best Indian food cookbooks (Desi moms swear by it):

Also look up "Vah chef" on YouTube, he's got great instructional videos.

I recommend starting out with dhal. Hit the best Indian restaurants in your area first to get an idea of what good Indian tastes like. Stock your spice cupboard with all the necessaries. Then go at it. There's both northern and southern Indian, each very different from each other. Northern is what most Indian restaurants in the U.S. specialize in, but southern cuisine is, although spicier, just as to die for (Chettinad, I'm looking at you!).

Not sure why I took the time to write all this. Anyway, do try your hand at it, and don't give up easily. It has taken me years to get an instinctive feel for how to make good Indian food without always needing a recipe book. But it's very, very worth it. Good luck.

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