Health Benefits Of Rajma

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah.      .

The fairly unpretentious bag of rajma (kidney beans) sitting in your kitchen is one of the healthiest sources of protein! They are full of protein, packed with fibre, very adaptable, and incredibly convenient to cook. Unfortunately, they are often, overlooked and neglected as an ingredient. These red, kidney-shaped beans are perfect for simmered recipes where they absorb the flavors of the foods and spices in which they are cooked.

The many benefits of this bean

  • Mammoth protein powerhouses, the kidney beans are jam-packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals and all without saturated fat.
  • Integrating 1 bowl of rajma once or twice a week can help improve your blood cholesterol profile appreciably, and keeps the heart happy!
  • Rajma is full of fibre! The fibre in the beans can help to pep up digestion and the working of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The beneficial gut health factor of the beans is due to the fact that the pulses are a good source of prebiotics too. They boost the functioning of the GI system, add bulk to feces and ward off constipation.
  • What’s more, the dream-team of protein and fibre keeps you feeling fuller for longer, boosts satiety and facilitates good weight loss.
  • The fibre from the rajma regulates blood sugar levels and steadies your blood glucose profile as well. It helps stave off diabetes mellitus. In those who have been diagnosed with the disorder, it can help manage the condition.
  • These beans are also brimming over with potassium and iron.
  • The kidney beans contain powerful antioxidants; they can help battle free radical damage and prevent a host of chronic diseases. In fact, these unassuming beans rank first, when it comes to the anti-oxidant content.

Including half a cup of these beans is all that you require in order to get these awesome kidney beans benefits. So, stock up on these amazingly nutritious beans and experiment in the kitchen to dish out creative ways to put the rajma to yummy use.

Selecting and storing rajma

Dried rajma is available throughout the year. When you purchase kidney beans, ensure that there is no indication of dampness or insect damage and that the rajma is intact and not cracked. Store the beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place; they keep well for a year. Try Tata Sampann kidney beans, they do not undergo artificial polishing with water, oil or leather. Consequently, they have less moisture content and that means you get more beans per kg and thus more protein. The beans are scientifically and hygienically processed and packaged. This ensures consistent quality around the year.

 

Cooking rajma right!

Kidney beans take approximately an hour to become soft and tender. Pre-soak the rajma for 6 to 8 hours and then pressure cook them. Do not add any seasoning while pressure cooking; adding the seasoning earlier makes the beans tough and it raises the cooking time as well.

3 yummy rajma recipes

If you’re looking for some inspiration to cook rajma and seem to have gotten in to a cooking rut, try these out. Kidney beans feed your tummy, heart, mind, and soul.  The rajma is a flavor-neutral work of art which you can convert in to an aromat-laden delicious showpiece!

  1. Rajma chawal: Hearty, super satisfying and tummy-filling, this Punjabi staple is made by slowly simmering the kidney beans in a rich tomato gravy. Ginger, garlic, jeera, garam masala and ajwain make an appetizing addition to the dish. Serve hot with rice. Not only is this meal outrageously scrumptious; but your love for it will increase knowing that you are eating a ton of protein, fibre and antioxidants.
  2. Mexican beans: Mexican beans are yummy and pack in a mountain of nutrition. They are ideal for nachos, tacos, enchiladas and burritos. Crammed with rajma, healthy veggies, and cheese, this meal is bound to standout; and it’s great for when you are entertaining a crowd! The spices and herbs add a beautiful depth of flavor to the recipe. The sour cream is the real game-changer! So, the next time you crave a quick, wholesome snack, whip up this amazing dish!
  3. Rajma chaat: This recipe gives rajma the spotlight that it really deserves! Boiled and sautéed kidney beans combine seamlessly with the fresh vegetables and chutneys. Throw in salt, pepper, chaat masala, chili powder, and amchur if you like it spicy and tangy. The khajur chutney, chili-garlic chutney and coriander chutney, will add more flavor to the dish. Sprinkle lime juice, coriander leaves and sev. Top it off with a spoonful of fresh yogurt and voila! You have a lip-smacking good, super nutritious meal.

When you consume high-protein and high-fibre foods, you are satiated for longer and importantly, take in fewer calories. Here’s to more bowls of cardiac health, battling diabetes and slimming goodness. The kidney beans should most definitely feature high up on your menu!

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