During hot summer days, my mother used to prepare spicy red beans, which we called ‘lobia’ in Urdu. This dish was mouthwatering, specially when served with freshly cooked cumin rice. It was a simple and elegant dish that I enjoyed in the afternoon after returning from school. I enjoyed the dish with a fresh salad of cucumbers, onion, and tomatoes.
Those nostalgic childhood memories now inspire me to prepare a similar very healthy recipe with only slight adaptations for my kids on hot summer days. My kids never refuse this dish as this has such poignancy.
Here is the recipe for everyone to enjoy.
1½ cup red kidney beans, wash and soak, preferably overnight
½ cup onion, chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, medium size, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon urfa pepper (Optional)
3 strips of fresh tamarind (sweet)
6-8 curry leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt as needed
For the red pepper relish:
1 red pepper
1 red onion, medium size
4-5 fresh cloves garlic
2 fresh jalapeño peppers
Preparing red pepper relish:
Broil red pepper, onion, cloves and jalapeño for 3-4 minutes until they are sufficiently roasted.
In a food processor, add roasted red peppers, roasted onion, garlic and jalapeño. Blend until it turns into a smooth sauce.
Preparing the kidney beans:
Heat a pressure-cooker over medium heat, add the kidney beans, turmeric, tamarind strip and salt, and fill with enough water to cover the beans. Cover and cook until kidney beans are cooked and are soft and tender. Set aside.
Tip: Follow the instructions on the pressure cooker.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion till they get softened. Add cumin seeds, chili pepper flakes and curry leaves until they start to get brown and crackle. Stir rapidly, reduce heat, urfa pepper, and add one tablespoon red pepper relish. Constantly stir for 1-2 minutes until the oil separates. Add the cooked kidney beans with tomatoes. Cover and cook on low-medium heat until the tomatoes can be mashed with a spoon and have a thick consistency. Add water if needed. Adjust the salt and serve.