Spices and Seasons – Lovely Legumes – Roman Beans


Speckled Roman Beans  The group of small roundish beans, such as pinto bean, roman beans of kidney beans are broadly called Rajma, in the Indian parlance. These beans are extremely useful for chilies, soups and stews. While, a lot of people prefer the red kidney bean, it shares popularity in my kitchen with the speckled roman bean. I am only sorry that like most beautiful legumes, they do not retain their speckled appearance when cooked. Of course, coming to think of it, if I were soaked overnight and then either pressure cooked or slow simmered for several hours, chances are I would be loosing some color as well.

Anyhow, I am partial to these beans mostly because of their comfortingly soft tastes and high fiber content. This is where they differ from white cannelloni beans, which while guaranteeing a soft and creamy taste does compromise a little on the nutritional content.

Roman beans are popular for rice and beans and in Italian cooking. I often add them to things with darker beans to offer some contrast in appearance. It is one of the soft beans and cooks up pretty easily offering a powerhouse of protein, iron and a lot of fiber for your plate. Here is a simple recipe for red kidney beans that I have adapted often with Roman beans with good results.

However, today’s recipe for a golden beetroot curry with these roman beans offer another great way to enjoy these beans and eat spicy and seasonal this week in your kitchen.




About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, is a daytime financial professional, who spends the rest of her time immersed in food. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years. Rinku is also the author of the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook, that highlights and offers many simple Indian recipes off the beaten path. Her second cookbook, Spices and Seasons, uses the approach in this column and marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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