Much like a rich, earthy and spicy Indian equivalent of a Mexican chili, this rajma is adapted from Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi. This extensive cookbook was my very first introduction to Indian cooking, and I highly recommend it to both novice and veteran cooks alike. A few of my dinner guests have purchased the book after tasting some of my creations inspired by the delicious recipes contained within. I frequently refer to it as the bible of Indian cooking as the recipes are easy to follow, though they vary in complexity and a wide variety of traditional Indian dishes are presented. The book is nearly 800 pages and includes recipes for beans and legumes, grain, breads, vegetables, cheese, chutneys and sauces, snacks and sweets, and beverages, in addition to a very helpful glossary of terms and definitions.
As I have noted before, I normally prefer cookbooks with lots of pictures, but the little illustrations throughout this book — along with detailed descriptions preceding each section and recipe, serving suggestions and information regarding the origins and traditions of the dishes presented — more than compensate for the lack of photos.
This dish is fairly easy to make, and although you'll be hanging in the kitchen for a couple of hours, it's totally worth the time and effort and it's a great dish to serve to a small party of 8 or 10 people. Ajwain seeds and paneer cheese are easily available at any Indian or Asian grocer, but ajwain seeds can be substituted with a few extra cumin seeds and a pinch or two of dried thyme. Paneer cheese has a consistency much like tofu, only it's made from whole milk rather than bean curd, and is much tastier, rather like a firm version of cottage cheese. The dish can be made without the paneer, but it is worth looking for.
|Curried Red Kidney Beans with Paneer (Paneer Rajma)|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Published on March 21, 2007
A rich, earthy and spicy red kidney bean curry served with tender pieces of fried paneer cheese