Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry) Tacos
This creamy, richly spiced vegetarian kidney bean curry is usually served over rice with roti or naan, but it also makes a surprisingly delicious filling for corn tortillas. You can assemble the tacos before serving them, or make a giant taco platter with the rajma, toasted tortillas, and all of the toppings and let your guests build their own to their own liking.
Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry)
This rich, creamy kidney bean curry, packed with layers of flavor from oil-bloomed spices and sauteed onion, can be enjoyed over rice with roti or naan for scooping. Add a dollop of tomato achaar or roasted garlic achaar for a little heat and acidity, and the yogurt for creamy coolness. Finish with a small handful of chopped onions and fresh cilantro for a final pop of flavor. If you don't have amchoor powder, you can try a bit of tamarind concentrate or a squeeze of lemon juice instead.
Gina Mae’s Baked Beans
Scholar Regina Bradley (nicknamed Gina Mae as a child) added a few special touches to her husband's baked beans recipe to make it her own. "A cookout's DNA is found in the sides and who made them. This task is not for the faint of heart or the thin-skinned," wrote Bradley, in an essay for Food & Wine. "If your beans taste burnt or your potato salad has raisins or olives, we talking bad about you 'til your grandchildren hear about it." For this summer-perfect side, Bradley dresses up store-bought barbecue sauce with extra brown sugar; apple cider vinegar cuts through the smoky sweetness. For a thicker version of these saucy beans, bake them 10 to 15 minutes longer before topping with bacon. If Vidalia onions are unavailable, substitute any sweet yellow onion.
Dry-Fried Sichuan-Style Green Beans with Shrimp
Instead of leaning on a sauce, “dry” stir-fries like this recipe use a small amount of liquid (in this case, fish sauce), relying on heat and movement in the wok to intensify each ingredient’s flavors. To ensure that the beans blister, dry them thoroughly with a kitchen towel before cooking. Pickled sushi ginger adds mild, well-balanced sweetness and a hint of spice.
Stir-Fried Garlicky Snow Pea Shoots
This recipe from cookbook author Grace Young is a delicious example of a “clear” stir-fry that uses very few ingredients, focusing on a pure translation of simple flavors. Sweet, tender snow pea shoots shine through mellow garlic, while white pepper perfumes the dish with its mild heat and fragrant floral notes. If using a skillet, cook the pea shoots in two batches to avoid crowding the pan.
Smoky Beans and Greens in Tomato Broth
This soul-satisfying bowl of beans and greens hits the spot on a night when you’re low on time and energy and the fridge seems a bit bare. Smoked paprika adds a welcome hint of smokiness, while the combination of tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes delivers an aromatic broth in record time. Can’t find collards? Swap in kale or chard instead. Want to keep it vegan? Just skip the cheese. Feel free to use your favorite canned or home-cooked beans as well.