It’s good to be back home. After living a nomadic life for a couple of months, it feels great to sleep in my own bed and get my space back. For those of you who missed, our house got a little makeover, which sought of kept me away from blogging. As those who follow me of FB, Twitter and Instagram already know, I got back to Bangalore a couple of weeks ago and after mad cleaning and slowly settling in, our life is almost back to normal now.
I think one of the things I missed the most while being away is my kitchen. Not just because I like to cook but also because I had decided to eat a certain way during this pregnancy and cooking in somebody else’s kitchen never really gives you complete control over things. I am glad it’s all behind me now. I can enjoy the last couple of months of my pregnancy just the way I planned. Yes! I am already in my third trimester and November will be here before I know it
I am sharing the recipe of a wholesome comforting soup with you all today which has 2 of my current favorite ingredients. I am still big on greens as I am planning to eat at least a serving of it every day of my pregnancy. Along with it I am using kidney beans too.
Kidney Beans or ‘Rajma’ as we call it in India is very nutritious and everybody should make it a part of their regular diet. Here’s why I am eating kidney beans during pregnancy –
Kidney beans are an excellent food during pregnancy because they contain low-fat protein and carbohydrates. In addition to the protein, which your baby uses to build new cells and to grow, they also provide you both with two other important components of diet. Kidney beans are high in fiber, which helps your pregnant digestive tract function optimally. They are also high in iron, which you need plenty of during pregnancy.
If you are a vegetarian it’s even more important to consume kidney beans as combined with a whole grain like rice, it’s a fabulous source of protein, comparable red meat. Kidney beans are also a good source of molybdenum, folate, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zink, vitamin K and copper.
In North India, ‘Rajma Chawal’ (Curried kidney beans with rice) is a comfort food people eat often and enjoy. I make my own version of the curried kidney beans and serve it with ‘Chapati’ or whole wheat flat breads and rice. With my effort to eat them more regularly now, I am going to experiment more with these humble beans and cook them in new interesting ways.
This soup is a tasty way to enjoy kidney beans. It has simple flavours, which can be easily customized to suit your taste buds. Serve them with some crusty bread or tortilla chips (or make your own chapathi chips!) for a filling meal.
- You can add more veggies like carrots, beans, peas, cauliflower, pumpkin, potato or any greens to make several variations of this recipe.
- I have used a little bit of red chili powder for some heat. Increase the amount of chili powder or use something like chipotle chili sauce for a spicier soup.
- I have used dry kidney beans but you can replace it with canned kidney beans too. If you are using canned kidney beans you just have to skip the first part of them recipe of soaking and boiling the beans.
- Serve it with a dollop of good quality sour cream or thick homemade yogurt for a creamier version
- 1 cup dry kidney beans
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups of roughly chopped fresh tender spinach leaves
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- ½ tsp of cumin powder
- Salt to taste
Soak the dry kidney beans with 3 cups of water for 6-8 hours or overnight. Discard the water and rinse it well. Boil the beans with fresh water till it’s soft. I used a pressure cooker, which made it much faster. Make sure the beans are cooked till slightly split open but still hold their shape.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed pot. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds. Now add the red bell peppers, tomatoes and greens one by one, frying for a few seconds after each addition. When everything is cooked and soft, add the cooked kidney beans along with the water it was boiled in. Season it with salt, chili powder and cumin powder. Let the mixture come to a boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve hot with some bread or tortilla chips.