Rajma Sambar/Thambdi Beeye Kolombo/Red Kidney Beans Sambar

Rajma Sambar/Thamdi Beeya Kolombo or red kidney beans Indian spiced gravy is a typical Konkani amchi (from the city of Mangalore in south India) variation of the quintessential south Indian sambar traditionally made with lentils like toor dal or yellow split peas and sometimes a mix of onions and vegetables. Paired with hot steaming rice and a stir fry vegetable on the side; it is the ultimate comfort food for us.

Sambar is popularly known all over the world as a south Indian lentil-based Indian stew generally served with dosas (savory rice-lentil Indian crepes), idlis (steamed rice-lentil cakes) and most times poured over rice and enjoyed as a soothing and comforting south Indian meal in most homes!

In our house, when rice is the main staple during lunch times, every meal is planned keeping in mind to have a gravy to serve with rice like Dalithoy, Alasande Beeye Saaru Upkari, Vaali Ambat, Magge Koddel etc. My favorite when preparing rajma or red kidney beans is sometimes cooking the beans and giving it a tempering of just garlic and dry red chillies in ghee called thambdi beeye (red kidney beans) saaru upkari (gravy based curry); mmm, heaven!

On days when I get bored with the garlic seasoning, I love to temper it with just mustard seeds, hing/asafetida and some curry leaves!  Unlike north Indian curries or dishes, Konkani dishes almost have very few distinct spices in each dish.

Some curries like green beans stir fry and green peas upkari have only mustard and dry red chillies as the aromatics. Broccoli talasani has only garlic and dry red chillis! Using minimal spices, the true taste and flavor of the vegetable comes out, for us to enjoy in its entirety!

Rajma sambar is also made with just a few ingredients. If you have sambar powder (readily available in all Indian stores), either store bought or homemade, making this easy rajma sambar is very easy.

Just cook the beans, add tamarind extract and sambar powder and a final seasoning or tempering of just ghee (use oil if vegan), mustard seeds and hing with curry leaves. That is it! I would say, it is the ultimate comfort food for all us Konkani amchis!

Served with a dollop of fresh ghee on top and mixed in with hot, steaming Basmati rice and a side dish of vegetable stir fry, rajma sambar is my ultimate favorite soothing and comfort food!

So, if you try this recipe, please do leave a comment below and share your pictures on my Facebook page!!

Rajma Sambar/Red Kidney Beans Indian Stew
Serves 4
Traditional Indian favorite sambar made using red kidney beans or rajma instead!!
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Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
70 calories
9 g
5 g
3 g
3 g
1 g
103 g
124 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
103g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 70
Calories from Fat 23
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
4%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 5mg
2%
Sodium 124mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 3g
12%
Sugars 0g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
3%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup red kidney beans
  2. 1 small lemon sized tamarind soaked in ½ cup water or 1 tsp tamarind paste
  3. 2 teaspoons sambhar powder
  4. Salt to taste
For tempering
  1. 2 tsp ghee/clarified butter or coconut oil
  2. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  3. ¼ tsp hing/asafetida
  4. Few curry leaves
  5. Finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Soak kidney beans in plenty of water overnight. Next day, drain, add 3 cups of water and cook either in a pressure cooker or saucepan until well cooked and soft.
  2. Squeeze the soaked tamarind (if using the fresh tamarind) and extract juice.
  3. To this, add 2 tsp of sambar powder and mix to form a slurry.
  4. Once the beans are cooked, transfer to a saucepan along with the cooking water and bring to a boil.
  5. Add salt to taste and the tamarind-sambar powder slurry. If using tamarind paste, add at this stage along with sambar powder (mixed in some water to form a homogenous mixture or it will form lumps).
  6. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat and adjust taste; salt and sourness according to taste.
Meanwhile, prepare the tempering or seasoning
  1. Heat oil/ghee in a small saucepan and once the oil/ghee is hot, add mustard seeds.
  2. After the mustard seeds have started to splutter and crackle, add hing and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds.
  3. Add this tempering to the simmering kidney beans sambar; garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves/cilantro; give it a good mix and remove from heat.
  4. Serve piping hot kidney bean sambar with rice, a vegetable stir fry and maybe a salad on the side for a complete vegan (if you omit the ghee and use only coconut or any other cooking oil) and healthy vegetarian Indian meal!!
  5. Enjoy!!
Notes
  1. For a quicker version, use canned kidney beans, but make sure to rinse well and add fresh water.
  2. If you have forgotten to soak kidney beans overnight, just give it a good boil for 5 minutes and leave to soak for about 30 minutes. Drain, add fresh water and then cook in pressure cooker as before. This is how I normally cook my rajma or white dried beans.
  3. The same sambar can be made with white beans (Northern beans) too.
  4. Adjust the amount of tamarind extract/paste and sambar powderaccording to your taste.
beta
calories
70
fat
3g
protein
3g
carbs
9g
more
Curry and Vanilla http://www.curryandvanilla.com/

How to make Rajma Sambar:

  • Soak kidney beans/rajma in plenty of water overnight. Next day, drain, add 3 cups of water and cook either in a pressure cooker or saucepan until well cooked and soft.
  • Squeeze the soaked tamarind (if using the fresh tamarind) and extract juice. Keep the pulp aside; you can add more water again to this to make additional tamarind extract if needed later.

  • To this, add 2 tsp of sambar powder and mix to form a slurry.

  • Once the beans are cooked, transfer to a saucepan along with the cooking water and bring to a boil.

  • Add salt to taste and the tamarind-sambar powder slurry. If using tamarind paste, add at this stage along with sambar powder (mixed in some water to form a homogenous mixture or it will form lumps).
  • Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat and adjust taste; salt and sourness according to taste.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the tempering or seasoning:
  • Heat oil/ghee in a small saucepan and once the oil/ghee is hot, add mustard seeds.
  • After the mustard seeds have started to splutter and crackle, add hing and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add this tempering to the simmering kidney beans sambar; garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves/cilantro; give it a good mix and remove from heat.

  • Serve piping hot kidney bean sambar with rice, a vegetable stir fry and maybe a salad on the side for a complete vegan (if you omit the ghee and use only coconut or any other cooking oil) and healthy vegetarian Indian meal!!

  • Enjoy!!

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6 comments

    • curryandvanilla says:

      Thanks Antonia 🙂 Actually, we love it with rice..but sounds great as a soup like chili too!!! Thanks for stopping by..Happy Fiesta Friday!!

  1. Monika says:

    This recipe sounds very exotic to me and, therefore, interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever seen tamarind fruit, though I have an idea what it tastes like from the tamarind sauce I’ve tried. Thank you for bringing your delicious recipe to #CookBlogShare:)

    • curryandvanilla says:

      Thanks so much Monika 🙂 🙂 Tamarind concentrated paste is available in any Indian grocery store; that can be used if you cannot get the tamarind fruit. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 🙂

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