spiced red kidney beans

Atul Kochhar

You can cook some pulses within 30 minutes, but tinned kidney beans help to speed up this recipe. Even though the beans are cooked, they can still be a bit tough, so I add lots of water during cooking to soften them.

serves 4 people

2 x 400g tins of red kidney beans
800g Greek-style yoghurt
60g ghee or 4 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp ground asafoetida
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp red chilli powder or to taste
160ml passata
10cm piece of fresh ginger
A few sprigs of coriander
3 tsp garam masala
½ a lemon

01 Drain and rinse the kidney beans in a sieve with cold water and set aside. Whisk the yoghurt in a bowl and set aside.

02 Melt the ghee in a large sauté or frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the asafoetida and stir until it sizzles. Add the cumin seeds and stir until they crackle. Add all but 6 tbsp of the yoghurt and stir for another 2–3 minutes. It’s important to cook the yoghurt well at this stage. Stir in the ground coriander, ground ginger and chilli powder. Season with salt and stir for a further minute to cook the spices. Watch closely so that nothing burns.

03 Stir in about 80ml of water and the passata, then bring to the boil. Add the kidney beans and leave the gravy to boil gently, uncovered. Continue to stir occasionally while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

04 Peel and finely chop the fresh ginger. Chop enough coriander leaves to make about 3 tbsp.

05 When the liquid has evaporated from the gravy, stir in 580ml of water and return to the boil. Stir in 2 tbsp of the chopped ginger and continue to boil gently for about 1 minute until the fat comes to the surface.

06 Stir in 1 tsp of the garam masala and continue to boil gently for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gravy thickens. Squeeze in about 1 tsp of lemon juice and boil for a further 30 seconds.

07 Reduce the heat to low, then stir in the remaining yoghurt, the remaining 2 tsp of garam masala, the remaining chopped ginger and 2 tbsp of the chopped coriander leaves. Leave to simmer for 30 seconds for the flavours to blend. Adjust the seasoning with salt if necessary, then sprinkle with the remaining chopped coriander before serving.