Basanti Beans

Still on my Sholay kick (with the Sholay chole), another bean recipe. Who doesn’t love Basanti? Plus, these beans are yellow. I experimented with mixed beans, and this was very tasty. Try it – yunki accha hai!

You need: 1/3 cup each black beans, red beans (rajma), and chickpeas (chana); 1 large yellow tomato; 1 medium red onion; 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste; 1 tbsp Kitchen King masala; salt to taste; 1 tsp jeera.

How to: Soak the beans overnight, or for at least four hours. Rinse and boil until soft (or pressure cook for five whistles). Drain, rinse, and set aside.

Cut the onion and tomato finely.

Heat 2 tbsp oil. Add the jeera. When it splutters, add the Kitchen King and turn the heat down to medium. Stir.

Add the onion. Stir well.

After 3-4 minutes, add the ginger-garlic paste. Stir briskly, and wait for 1-2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and stir again. Cover and cook on medium heat until the tomatoes are well blended. You will not need to add water if you have a tight-fitting lid and keep the heat on medium.

When the tomatoes are done, add the cooked beans. Stir well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a little water to thin it out a bit.

Garnish with cilantro (dhania) and use in place of a regular dal – over rice or with roti.

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Sholay Chole

I realized that I didn’t have a recipe for chole on here. Shocking! I made some last night, after three days of craving chana. Chole is chickpeas (chana/garbanzo beans) in a tomato gravy. There are various ways you can cook it, and two different kinds of beans you can use – kala chana, or the dark brown chickpeas, and the regular chana, garbanzo beans. This recipe uses the regular white garbanzo beans that you can also get canned.

Why Sholay? Because it’s an awesome movie, that’s why. And it rhymes.

You need: 1 cup dried garbanzo beans (chana) OR 1 can; 2 large tomatoes; 1 large onion; 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste; 1 bay leaf; 2 tsp chana masala (available at most Indian stores or large groceries) OR 1 tsp garam masala + 1/4 tsp amchur (dried mango powder); salt to taste

How to:

1. If you are using dried beans, soak them overnight or for at least four hours. Cook in a pressure cooker or in a covered pot until soft. If you are using an Indian-style pressure cooker, 4-5 whistles ought to do it. Drain and set aside. If you are using canned beans, drain, rinse, and set aside.

2. Cut the onions into very small pieces, or purée. Do the same with the tomatoes. Keep them separate.

3. Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a large pan. You can use a kadhai, a wok, a saucepan, a stockpot, or a handi.

4. Add the bayleaf and the onions. Cook for 5-7 minutes on high, stirring frequently.

5. Add the tomatoes. Stir well and cover, turning the heat down to medium/simmer. Stir occasionally until the tomatoes and onions are mushy. DO NOT add water.

6. Add the masala and the salt. Stir, cover, and let it cook for another couple of minutes.

7. Add the chickpeas/chana to the mix. Stir well. Add water if it is too thick. Let it cook for another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.

Eat over rice or with puris.