I am so glad that I learned to make this curry. I think originally I had copied a recipe I had found in one of my family’s various cookbooks, but that was already several years ago… and I never wrote it down or made a note to myself about which book the recipe had come from. But luckily for me, the basics of a good kidney bean curry are easy to generally remember. So whenever I have a craving for the stuff, I pretty much make it from scratch to the best of my memory of how the original recipe went.
Needless to say, every time I make this curry, it shifts a little bit to reflect what ingredients I have on hand (and according to how much of the different spices I feel like adding each time). But I have a feeling that this ever-slightly-changing curry recipe is going to continue to serve me quite well in the days and weeks and months to come while I’m studying at college. Attending classes full time, and managing my homework workload doesn’t leave me too much time in the evenings to dedicate to making complicated suppers for myself.
I’ve got a veritable laundry list of good things I could say about this kidney bean curry. Firstly, it is super easy to prepare. There’s minimal chopping involved, so extensive, fancy knife work isn’t necessary, and because it’s a one-pot kind of supper, there’s not a whole lot of clean-up to be done afterwards.
So its preparation doesn’t take too much time out of your day, and neither does its cooking time. Ten to fifteen minutes to prepare the ingredients is all you’ll need—enough time to peel and chop the ginger, peel and chop the onion, and wash and dice your tomatoes and spicy peppers. Other than that, all you need is a can opener to open the tins of kidney beans and crushed tomatoes, and you’re ready to start cooking! Add on another twenty minutes of a gentle simmer, and your curry is ready to serve.
And I haven’t even mentioned that those easily-prepped curry ingredients are pretty wallet-friendly too (and that’s always a plus if you’re working with a student’s budget like me!). You could probably even pinch a few more pennies and buy dried kidney beans in bulk instead of in tins from the grocery store. (Although, that will come at a cost for preparation time, as those beans will need a few hours to soak in water before they’re ready to use.) But hey, you’ll probably cut out a bit of sodium as well by swapping canned beans for the dried variety.
Which brings us to the next lovely quality of this curry: this is a supper you can feel good about putting together, serving to your loved ones, or even eating up all on your own as a week’s worth of leftover lunches. And that’s because while this curry is supremely flavourful and delicious, it’s pretty healthy for you too—what with all that fibre from the beans, and vitamin C from the tomatoes (not to mention: It’s low-fat!). Plus, if you serve it with basmati rice, long grain brown rice, or simple, white minute-rice, you’ll have a full protein on your plate—with no meat required. (And that means this curry should be a definite contender for your next Meatless Monday supper!)
Kidney Bean Curry
The fresh ginger, minced spicy pepper, and blend of fragrant spices are what really elevate this dish to a wonderful suppertime meal. I’ll bet you’ve even got the spices you need for it in your spice rack right now, too!
Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. peeled and diced fresh ginger
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 tomatoes, washed and chopped
1-2 jalapeño peppers, washed, seeded, and diced fine
2 tomatoes, washed and diced fine
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 540 mL cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 398 mL can of crushed tomatoes
In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat for about a minute. Add your diced ginger, chopped onions, and finely diced jalapeño peppers. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the spices and salt and sauté for another two or three minutes so that the spices become fragrant and coat the vegetables evenly. Add your diced tomatoes and can of crushed tomatoes, and stir the entire mixture so that all components are combined. Increase the heat to medium-high, and add your cans of drained and rinsed kidney beans. Add a cup of water and allow the curry to come to a quick simmer for a minute or two before reducing the heat to medium once more. Simmer your curry for another ten minutes uncovered, and remember: Stir your curry frequently to avoid ingredients sticking to the bottom of the pot! Turn off the heat, allow to cool slightly, and serve over rice or with naan.