Rajma (Pinto Or Kidney Bean Curry)

Course : Curry
Serves: 8
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2 ounces tamarind -- * see note
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons fresh ginger -- (1 1/2 inch piece)
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup butter -- or ghee*
2 medium onions -- chopped
3/4 teaspoon cumin seed
2 pieces cinnamon stick -- (1 inch pieces)
4 pieces black cardamom pods -- * see note
8 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
2 large tomatoes -- peeled and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 1/4 cups pinto or kidney beans -- or rajma*, soaked
3 cups water
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

Preparation / Directions:

*Available in East Indian food stores To cook reduced quantities: reduce all ingredients proportionately but not below one-fourth; then increase water in step 3 by 1/2 cup. 1. Put tamarind in a stainless steel or non-metallic bowl. Add boiling water. Keep covered 1 hour. 2. Grind together ginger and garlic into a paste. 3. Melt butter in cooker on medium heat. Add onions and fry till light brown. Add ginger-garlic paste, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and peppercorns. Stir fry for a few seconds. Add tomatoes, coriander, turmeric, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans and water. Stir. 4. Close cooker. Bring to full pressure on high heat. Reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes. 5. remove cooker from heat. Allow to cool naturally. 6. To extract tamarind pulp: Place a sieve over a stainless steel or non-metallic bowl. Put soaked tamarind into sieve, reserving liquid. Push tamarind through sieve adding a little of the reserved liquid from time to time. Scrap pulp off sieve into the bowl. Using all reserved liquid, keep rubbing tamarind till all pulp has been extracted. Discard tamarind in sieve. 7. Open cooker. Add tamarind pulp and coriander leaves. Stir. 8. Place cooker on medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot, preferably over Basmati rice. Soaking beans: To soak overnight, put beans in twice their volume of cold water and soak overnight. Or put beans in a pan and pour boiling water to fully cover and allow to stand for one hour. Drain beans before using.

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