No cuisine gives greater prominence to beans than Indian food. Dhal, or bean curry, comes in dozens of variations and is a mainstay. In this hearty vegetarian dish, the earthy flavour of kidney beans marries well with spinach and potatoes. Serve on basmati rice, with a dollop of plain yogurt and a few spoonfuls of chutney. You might want to wipe the plate clean with a piece of naan bread.
2 540-mL cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or 4 cups home-cooked)
2 quarter-sized slices peeled, fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups water
250 g red-skinned potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 medium)
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 dried hot peppers
1 cooking onion, thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
In a medium pot, start dhal by combining kidney beans, ginger, garlic, cayenne and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove ginger slices. Mash dhal with a potato masher into a smooth consistency.
Meanwhile, in a small pot, boil potatoes for about 8-10 minutes or until just tender. Add potatoes to dhal, along with spinach and simmer until spinach is wilted. In a small bowl, combine yogurt with a few big spoonfuls of the dhal (to prevent the yogurt from curdling in the pot) stir well, then incorporate into the pot of dhal. In a large frying pan, heat oil at medium high until it shimmers, add cumin seeds and fry one minute. Reduce heat to medium low and saut' ginger, dried red peppers and onions for 10 minutes or until golden. Stir onion mixture into dhal. Season with jalapeno, salt and pepper and garnish with coriander.
* If you don't like it hot, omit or reduce.
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