This recipe comes from Meera Sodha’s Made in India, a collection of highly inspiring and surprisingly feasible home Indian recipes. An occasional Ugandan touch (due to the author’s family history) means I’m not sure where exactly this curry – called Junjaro – comes from, but it does taste and smell like an Indian dish to me. And a particularly delicious one too, which came as a slight surprise since it calls for quite simple ingredients, readily available in standard western supermarkets (at least in Switzerland). Actually, it proved so delicious and versatile, I have served it at least in several different forms in the past three weeks (see the TIPs below), each of them proving highly palatable. The above “stewy”, i.e. more liquid, version is my favourite. I love serving it in a bowl topped with an egg, feta cheese (yes!), baked chicken, mushrooms…
As usually, I have slightly changed the recipe (making this dish more “soupy” than advised or adding chilli powder, more garlic…), so check Meera Sodha’s book for the original recipe.
TIPS: You can serve this curry as a side dish in an Indian meal (with meat dish and rice/flat bread ,for example), but I strongly advise it a bit more liquid (as above) served in a bowl, topped with warm…. feta cheese (yes, this spicy dish goes perfectly with the famous Greek cheese!), fried/poached egg, fried ground meat, grilled bacon, leftover grilled meat, mushrooms…. You can also add even more water or tomato juice and treat it as a thick stew.
If you want to keep a typical thick curry texture, simply add less water.
This curry keeps in the fridge for several days, but you can also freeze it.
I strongly advise using dried beans and soaking them overnight. It makes a huuuuge difference in both the texture and the flavours (for example freshly cooked beans tend to absorb more flavours than the canned ones).
Preparation: about 1 hour (if the beans are already cooked or if using canned)
Ingredients (serves four to six, depending if you treat it as the base of the main course or a side-dish):
200 g dried kidney beans (or 400 g canned, drained)
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 big shallots (or two small onions), chopped
3 cm finely chopped fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
2-3 fresh green chillies (or more!), sliced
2 teaspoons garam masala
3 tablespoons tomato paste
(100 ml canned or freshly chopped tomatoes)
oil (I have used here coconut oil)
If using dry beans, soak them in water overnight.
Drain and cook until soft (depending on the beans it might take even several hours).
If you use canned beans, drain them and rinse.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a big pan.
On low heat stir-fry the whole cinnamon stick and the cumin seeds until aromatic. (Make sure you don’t burn them).
Add the chopped onion or shallots and stir-fry until golden and soft.
Add the garlic, the ginger and the fresh chilli. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the turmeric, the garam masala, chilli powder, if using, and the tomato paste. Stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Finally, add the beans, 1/2 later water, salt and canned or freshly chopped tomatoes, if using.
Give the curry a good stir, cover and let it simmer at low heat for about one hour (if you use canned beans, it might take less time because canned beans sometimes fall easily into pieces).
Check every 15 minutes adding more water if necessary.
Serve with fresh coriander leaves.