Beans are a super food – they are high fibre, high in protein, rich in minerals and are known to protect against heart disease and diabetes. When I was thinking up new ways for my kids to eat beans, I remembered this salad that I’d often eaten at my aunt Claudia’s dinner parties and made it as a side for dinner. To my delight, my middle son, Vikram, ate most of it as his main course.
Ingredients ½ cup dry or 1 cup cooked rajma (kidney beans)
½ cup dry or 1 cup cooked lobia (black-eyed peas)
100g green beans, cut into 1” long pieces (around 1 cup)
2 medium tomatoes (150g)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons vinegar or lime juice
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Soak the rajma and lobia overnight. Pressure-cook the rajma (around 3 whistles) until the beans are soft but firm. Pressure-cook the lobia separately – they cook quickly and usually need only 1 whistle.
Make sure you have really fresh and tender green beans to start with. Steam or boil them until just done, around 5 minutes. They should be crunchy but cooked, and bright green in colour. Drain and immediately immerse in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process and retain the green colour.
Deseed the tomatoes and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Keep aside in the fridge.
Prepare the dressing, blending all the ingredients thoroughly.
Marinate all 3 beans in the dressing for 3 to 4 hours. Just before serving, add the chopped tomatoes. Gently mix and serve in a white or clear glass bowl, to bring out the pretty look of this colourful and nutritious salad.