Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rajma Wrap

Dried beans and legumes are the "little black dress" of my kitchen. Keep them in your pantry and they can emerge dressed up for a feast or dressed down for an everyday lunch, and everything in between. 

In this recipe, kidney beans are decked out in their summer best, wrapped in a light wheat tortilla along with cool yogurt, fresh greens and sweet tomatoes. The inspiration for this wrap came from the curried kidney bean wrap from Sailu's Kitchen. You could think of this as an Indian burrito. 

I took Sailu's idea and changed it to fit the ingredients in my kitchen, and the fresh loot from the Farmers' Market, including the sweetest, ripest cherry tomatoes. This is a very flexible and forgiving recipe, as you can imagine.

Kidney Bean Wraps

A. Make the filling:

1. Heat some oil, and saute 1 small minced onion.

2. Add and saute:
  • 1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. cumin-coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. kasuri methi
  • turmeric and red chilli powder to taste
  • salt to taste
3. Add and stir fry on open heat until the mixture is quite dry
  • 3 tbsp. tomato ketchup
  • 2 chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 4 cups cooked kidney beans 
4. Turn off the heat, and add
  • a dash of garam masala
  • plenty of chopped fresh cilantro

B. Assemble the wrap:
  • For the base, you can use store-bought tortillas, pitas or other flatbreads. I love the whole wheat tortillas from Trader Joe's. Leftover (or freshly made) rotis or chapatis would be wonderful too. 
  • To the flatbread, add some kidney bean filling, dollops of thick Greek yogurt (or strained yogurt or sour cream), and your choice of fresh vegetables, including fresh greens, quartered cherry tomatoes, sliced onion etc. 
  • For those who love spicy food, some green chilli chutney would be right at home here. This wrap is very reminiscent of those frankies I love to devour every time I get a chance.

Because this recipe is inspired by a fellow blogger, it goes to this month's Blog Bites: Sandwiches and Wraps, hosted right here on this blog. If you would like to participate, send in an entry in the next couple of weeks.

Speaking of frankies and street food, I am teaching a class on Indian street food at the wonderful Kitchen Conservatory on Sunday, July 25th- two weeks from now. If you or someone you know might be interested, please contact me for details.

* Talking Trash * 

I am looking to set up a compost bin in a couple of weeks, and getting unduly excited about it. Once all the compostable material is removed from our weekly trash, there is so little left, so setting up a good composting system is a top priority in reducing the amount of trash my household produces.

My two criteria are, (a) it should be a container system rather than a pit I dig up in the yard, because I don't want to deal with the hassles of dogs and assorted critters getting into the pile, (b) I want to use some biological prowess- be it worms or bacteria- to speed up the composting process.

Right now, the top contender in my mind is the Bokashi method. Any and all kitchen waste is pickled using anaerobic bacteria, then the fermented mass is buried in soil for a few weeks to make rich compost.

There is a wealth of information out there on websites and in books and it can be overwhelming. Do you compost your kitchen waste? If yes, do you mind sharing your experiences with me, especially with small-scale container composting? Thank you for your time!


  1. We just do an open pile in the yard, contained by a screen. This allows nature to help out a lot-- the sun, the rain, the bugs. You can do it in a tumbler, it's just a little more work to make the right balance of materials and moisture.

    Two tips I have are 1) you will probably "fail" to make perfect compost at least once. This isn't the end of the world, especially if you are mainly doing it for trash reduction like I am. Dig a hole, bury it, start again. 2) Once you get it started, consider buying another machine! Most bins have a max fill, and then you let the compost process for a while. But what do you do with your kitchen waste in the meantime? This is something I never considered and I never saw it mentioned when I was looking at methods.

  2. Rajma wrap looks too perfect. And the cherry tomatoes in the wrap seems like a grand idea

  3. superb yummy healthy waraps ...looks so delicious

  4. Wraps! Can't live without them in the summer. I usually lace mine with tamarind chutney. And top them with Jalapeno Kettle chips so it makes a nice loud crunch when biting in.

  5. Thats a great looking wraps..yumm!

  6. rajma wrap looks delicious, Nupur and super easy to assemble too. I dont compost myself but in ca, you can designate a separate compost bin in your trash and the city services will take the bin and compost it.. so i dont feel too shabby about not composting myself rather having the compost done for me :)

  7. Wonderful wrap and I used to make rajma sandwich too which is my fav one.. THis looks yummy ...

  8. About the wrap: YUM.
    About the composting: YAY. Please keep us updated on that; I'm studying what I can do. Our problems are a massive, curious, mischievous dog and some gnarly possums that like to visit on a regular basis.

    Hope your summer is going well! xo, mari

  9. The wrap is delicious with those cherry tomatoes. Anything with bean I am in.

    As for composting, true the amount of trash reduces drastically if you weed out the kitchen scarps and the trash bin is glad you did it because there is no decomposing smell.

    We have one in the backyard, the bin is just a thickish plastic wrap(provided free by our county) with holes, rolled into a cylinder and stuck to the ground. The compost goes into our vegetable patch so we are not too worried about the degree of composting itself. But there are tons of critters - worms, bugs, ants you name it they are there. But the bin is about 75 yards from the house and does not matter.

    How about you? Where do you plan to put the bin?

  10. Delicious... I love rajma!!

  11. Hi Nupur, last month I got a composter from 'Green Thumbs' for $30, it usually goes for $70 but luckily our local trash company is subsidizing it for us. In it goes my kitchen waste and then mostly yard waste. Its not been too long so not much development yet, but hoping to get good compost by the end of summer.

  12. thats a delicious healthy wrap

  13. mouthwatering n healthy n nutritious rajmas with anything...those cute little tomatoes r adding a visualt treat tot he wraps...awesome

  14. This is a droolworthy wrap. Here I don't compost things, but back home Amma used to that in our garden. Let me ask her. And wishing you good luck for the cooking class..

  15. I am constantly looking for new ways to use kidney beans! This looks packed with flavor!

  16. The rajma wrap sounds like a great idea. Had never done that with rajma.

    Composting.. I don't know much about that. That link you provided was quite interesting. Look fw to more comments-info here.

  17. I've done some posts about my experience (so far, so good) with vermicomposting (worms). I don't know anything about Bokashi, so I can't really compare. If you want to actually see a real, working worm bin, I'd be happy to show you mine.

  18. Wrap looks filling and delicious.

  19. Nupur, what a wonderful wrap. I too had this wrap of Sailu's in my bookmarked list :)

    I have no idea about composting, so no help there.

  20. Love these kind of wraps-simple and nutritious!

  21. I've been eyeing the wrap from Sailu's blog too! I love wraps and frankies of all kinds and this one looks especially delish!

  22. Hi Nupur,

    Nice to know that you will be composting. I started it last winter. I bought a rubbermaid container, poked some holes and started dumping all the kitchen waste(no dairy or animal products). Amazing that I have absolutely no actual trash. But unlike the Bokashi method, I kept it outside and it does ferment and has a putrid odour. So I am not sure if you can bear the smell if kept indoors. Though I must say the odour does make me sneeze.

    All the best with your effort.

  23. wrap looks great...dried beans are my saviours too!

    about composting... i use a 3 tiered terracotta composter. more details here

    it offers the convenience of rotating the pots so that you have another when one gets full. takes about 2 months for usable compost to be made. i dont add earthworms. you just dump all degradable waste in the top most pot, layer it with shredded newspaper, saw dust or dried leaves and let it do its work. i've had issues of odour and ants even tho they gave me a lemongrass spray to use to combat it. i couldnt find the dried leaves it needed, so use paper... it was on the balcony adjoining the guest room, now i have moved it to the roof. its a great way of minimising kitchen waste. since i have a lot of plants, the compost comes in handy. check out the link... more info there....

  24. Here we have "OLLA" and "SUKHA" kachra funda (wet and dry)... the wet stuffs are carried for vermicompost.

    anyways even i've been planning to do some home compost.. check out simple tips

  25. This one from Sailu's blog looks like a favourite. I made the same for this event :)

  26. This is what we got
    You would need yard waste along with kitchen scrapes for this. We didn't go for models with compost tea as we heard that it gets quite messy. Also I keep it in the backyard; haven't noticed any smell though. we didn't want one inside the house or in the garaje.


  27. That's a lovely wrap Nupur. Perfect summertime dinner.

  28. I use 2 big plastic bins with a few holes in the bottom. when 1 is full I rest it and fill the other.Since we consume a lot of veggies my bins fill up fsat.I add newspaper, grass or leaves too.My friend uses a bokashi and seems hapy with it.Since I have a bigger family the Bokashi bucket looked too small.But for a small family and to use it inside the house it is best.No odours either.

  29. Nupur, this looks delicious. I make very similar pita pockets. I tell you they are delicious. Yours looks sooo good. I also put some corn with chaat masala in there too.


  30. Nupur- Pls post some pics and stories about Dale. I come to your blog just to hear more about him ;) :)


  31. I make similar wraps with leftover sabzi and some melted cheese on the tortilla. This looks delicious.

    As to composting, my husband got me a tumbleweed composter but it isn't much good. Too heavy and like another commentator said, needs a perfect balance of materials. I usually bury my kitchen waste in the flowerbeds or in a big pot filled with soil. It composts in a couple of weeks and there is no smell. I have even had tomato plants grow from the compost plant!
    Good luck with composting. I feel less guilty now if veggies or fruits go bad. :)

  32. ooh- Yum! looks very tasty. I love frankies too, so will definitely try this! How was your first week at the new job? (Congrats by the way!)

  33. Nupur. Trust this helps.

  34. I bought a really cheap composting bin from the hardware store-- it's not one of those fancy ones you can roll etc, but just an erect metal bin with lots of holes in the sides and on the lids. I pile in all my kitchen scraps-- and I mean everything including any vegetable scraps, spoiled veggies, coffee grounds/filters and tea bags-- and just throw them in. Occasionally I'll toss in a few handfuls of store-bought humus or some mulch. I just let everything sit and once in a while I'll go down to the yard, make sure the lid is clamped tightly on, and give it all a good roll in the grass to mix things up. I did this through last year and got some very decent compost for my plants this year. Not very scientific, but it worked :)

  35. I've been wanting to start composting to- have never gotten around to trying it.
    Here is one of my friends' experience with composting:

    Nupur you could read this article and the comments.Lots of information.

  37. I have emailed a friend (Harriet) who lives in St Louis and loves cooking as well as all things Indian; if she is in town at that time, I know she would definitely try to make it. Will let you know - and how I wish I could attend your class!!

    The wrap looks yummt - just yesterday after reading Vir Sanghvi's treatise on the origins of kathi rolls, I was inspired to make them for dinner - the stuffing shaami kebabs and mushrooms. Not a patch on the ones you get outside though, so next time Im not going to try to duplicate those. I will try your recipe (which looks soo much better and healthier) and go out for the kathi rolls! :)

  38. Mouthwatering wraps! they would be perfect for my lunch !

  39. Hey Nupur,

    Lovely wrap that...I love wraps as they are forgiving...and with changing the ingredients....just like you wd do with a sandwich or a panini, you get a totally new thing out!!!
    It`s nice that you are gonna be taking a class on Indian Street Food...are you gonna be cooking?> then am in!
    How was the new job?


  40. veena krishnakumar- Thanks!

    Kat- Thanks very much for the tips- I will definitely take your suggestion of having two bins so that I can keep the process going while one bin is full.

    Bong Mom- Yes, the cherry tomatoes were so juicy and sweet, it was a treat to bite into them.

    Satya- Thanks!

    Niranjana- I love the idea of adding kettle chips to the wrap, I'm addicted to the taste and crunch of kettle chips :)

    Priya- Thanks!

    PJ- How wonderful that composting is a city-wide venture in CA, good for you. Here we don't have such a service yet hence the need to think up a plan for my own household.

    Pavithra- Thanks.

    mari- I'm afraid of the dog (and assorted urban wildlife) getting in there too, therefore the sealed container. But there seem to be plenty of options for small-scale closed container composting. My summer is going very well and I hope yours is too!!

    indosungod- I agree, it will be great to have trash that does not smell at all or get wet and gross.
    I plan to put my bin (it will be sealed) either under the kitchen sink or in a small space under the back patio.

    Az- I love it too.

  41. Mangala- That's fantastic, you are saving a lot of stuff from the landfill. I hope you get wonderful rich compost in a few months, if possible please give us an update.

    Nitha- Thanks.

    Sanyukta Gour (Bayes)- Thanks.

    RV- Thanks a lot.

    Joanne- It sure was, simple yet flavorful.

    SS blogs here- Composting is a very eco-friendly thing to do, especially for those of us who cook a lot and generate vegetable/fruit scraps, that's why I am eager to get started.

    Melissa- I did read your posts and they are very informative!

    Divya Vikram- Thanks!

    Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal- Thanks!

  42. musical- I love them too, you can stuff in just about anything :)

    The Housewife- Thanks!

    Garden Dreamer- Thanks for sharing your experience, how wonderful to have nothing going to the landfill- that's just incredible.

    arundati- That's a very informative website, thank you for sharing your experience. It is wonderful that you are able to compost in a busy urban setting.

    Kanchan- Oh so the city is doing the composting for you? That's awesome.

    Niloufer Riyaz- Thanks!

    bhagyashri- You made it for this event? I did not get an entry from you though.

  43. thoughtsandpots- Thanks for sharing the link!

    mangocheeks- Thanks!

    Rajee- Yes, it was perfect for a hot day.

    Poornima- Thanks for sharing your experience. I am planning to try the bokashi in a bigger bucket, let's see if it works out.

    eatingmatters- Corn would be wonderful in here! I'll definitely post some updates on Dale very soon, just for you :)

    Jaya Wagle- Thanks for sharing your experience, the simple way might be the best way after all.

    Lavanya- I love frankies and all their cousins, stuffed with just about anything ;)

    Anjali- Several folks have been sharing that site with me and it is certainly very useful.

    Vaishali- Your composting system sounds very easy and effective!

    Vinita- What a great article, thanks for sharing that!

  44. Miri- Thank you so much for letting your friend know! I agree, you can eat simple healthy wraps at home and go out and feast on the authentic stuff :)

    Sweet Artichoke- Thanks!

    Shobha- Yes, wraps and sandwiches are extremely forgiving! I will send you a mail with the class details.

  45. hi
    Thanks for this wonderful recipe a sure sure try for me in the next week and is already on my recipes to be tried list...
    I read about the event today will try to take part and also looking forward to the roundup as sandwiches and wraps are a favorite with my family

  46. Nupur, my friend has confirmed that she has gone and registered on the website for the class - she is so excited! (so would I have been!)


  47. Rajma wraps look delicious. I mostly make tikka wrap and have posted one recently. this is a great idea too.
    as for the compost. I have been using kitchen waste to make my own compost at the backyard. mainly I pile everything in a dig at my backyard. occasionally layer the kitchen waste with some soil. got my first compost this month only which I used for my vegetable bed. you can check out this site. you will get all the knowhow and the composting pots look sooo good. if you know any potter and you are interested they have shared the design also.

  48. Delicious and healthy wraps! Love the addition of yogurt!

  49. Totally a healthy wrap and I love the clicks. Very Inviting.

  50. The rajma wraps look delicious! I like to use yogurt in mine too ( It's so much healthier than mayo and, methinks, yummier too! I hope you had fun teaching the class--did you do a lot of chaat?

  51. Nice to hear from you, N. Thanks for the wishes. Hope you are doing good. And Dale too!


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