this essential :: classic rajma masala

this rajma masala is the perfect indian dish and it's oh so flavorful

HAPPY 2017, Y’ALL.

There’s something I just love about starting the year anew. Maybe it’s the renewed spirit of setting intentions for the upcoming year, or perhaps it’s just the fresh feeling of starting over? I know our slate’s don’t necessarily start clean at the beginning of the year, that would be all too cliché (not that the idea of setting resolutions isn’t cliché either) – but I like to look at the start of each new year as a chance to reflect on that which we accomplished in the past 12 months, review the goals we didn’t quite get to, and remind ourselves of the things we consider important enough to work towards in the coming months. What are your intentions for the new year? Here are some of mine if you’re still thinking of ideas::

in 2017 I would like to….

learn how to watercolor (and do it well.)

travel more – lots more.

become a morning person.

be more mindful of what I eat, talk about cliché.

devote more time to this space – create better content and share more good food with y’all.

spend more time volunteering. any ideas you’ve liked?

It’s a short list, most of which is stuff that seems pretty simple, so I’m hoping that I can carry out these ideas throughout the year and look back in 2018 (!!!!) and see that I actually followed through with them.

Rajma Masala from This Brown Kitchen

Team Naan always.

The perfect winter dish is a big bowl of rajma masala with naan and rice!

In other news, do you notice anything different? THIS BROWN KITCHEN HAS BEEN UPDATED!!! Everything on the site is brand new and shiny for 2017! After diving a year into sharing my favorite recipes with you I thought it was time to make a few changes around here, and hopefully you like them! There are major changes like the Recipes Archive being split into categories and minor changes like updating my sidebar to hopefully include more info that y’all will enjoy! A few minor tweaks are most definitely going to occur in the coming weeks – and I’m hoping y’all will let me know if there’s anything you would like to see different!

Now that we’ve got business out of the way, let’s chat about this dish :: Rajma Masala. 

It’s a classic. Seriously though, if there’s one dish that is reminiscent of my childhood, this is it. It’s a bowl of delicious yuminess that you can scoop up with some roti or pillow-ey naan or just stuff your face with it atop some rice. Rajma (red kidney beans!) becomes nice and soft while still keeping its shape when cooked, and it soaks up all the warm spices that are tossed into the mix as well. There are many different versions of this dish, and you can easily edit things by adding onions or jalapeños into the sauté before for some different flavors, or leaving out the coconut milk and adding in rajama masala instead of the individual spices.

If you make a big batch, the rajma will keep for 2-3 days or you can freeze it for next time you want a hot meal but don’t have any actual ingredients to cook with. Happy New Year, friends!

the perfect dinner is a bowl of rajma masala

rajma masala
  1. Splash of olive oil
  2. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  3. 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  4. 1/2 small yellow potato, baked and cubed into small pieces
  5. 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  6. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  7. 2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
  8. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  9. 1 tsp chili powder
  10. 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  11. Big pinch salt and pepper
  12. 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  13. 2 - 3 cups of water
for garnish
  1. cilantro, lime wedges and juice, lime yogurt
  1. heat up the olive oil in a large stovetop pot. once the oil is warm, add the cumin seeds and toast until they start to lightly brown, add the garlic and potato. cook until the garlic starts to turn golden.
  2. add the tomato sauce, coconut milk, tamarind concentrate, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, and salt and pepper. stir the spices into the sauce until everything comes together, about 2 - 3 minutes until the sauce starts to simmer.
  3. add the kidney beans and water, stir to combine. cover the pot - leaving the lid slightly open to release steam and let cook for about twenty minutes at a low simmer. check the rajma after twenty minutes. add more water if needed - the rajma should have a gravy-like sauce but not be too watery. Let cook for another twenty minutes until the kidney beans are soft.
  4. serve warm over rice or with naan and with your choice of garnishes. enjoy!
this brown kitchen

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