Friday, July 22, 2011

When Less truly becomes More {And Kidney Bean Curry Recipe}

"I like this kidney beans." My preschooler says over a bowl of rice and bean curry.

I look at my son's turmeric stained face and toothy grin. Did He just say he likes rice and beans? Our boring weekly staple?

"You like it?"


My preschooler shovels spoonfuls into his mouth, and when he's done, he holds up his bowl for more.

More? Doesn't he want meat?

No, I want meat. I can taste fresh beef tenderloin. My mouth waters. All of a sudden I want everything else {even my baby's puréed mangoes} over plain ol' kidney beans.

I dish another helping into my little boy's bowl and watch him eat. He hums a merry tune while his baby brother bangs a wooden spoon on his highchair. They're so content {right now}. My boys' delight in simple pleasures tugs my conscience.

When is the last time I really savored this nutritious and delicious dish like my preschooler? When is the last time I truly enjoyed today like my baby?

Over the past five years, as my hubby's slogged through grad school, I've dreamed about the day I won't have to count pennies, apply for scholarships, clip coupons, make my own toxic-free cleaners, save for months just to buy household items, or eat legumes all.the.time.

The day I kiss our student budget goodbye and embrace a better {more prosperous?} tomorrow.

But in five years of looking ahead, I've seen that tomorrow never comes. And with our family's plans to move overseas in a few years, I can't count on an improved standard of living. The truth is if I'm not content now, I won't be when the year turns over. For, when tomorrow arrives, it will be today.

When I live in the future, I miss the here. The now.

There a moments I experience grace, and it's right now over a simple lunch. Today, I choose to give thanks.

"Thank you, God, for Kidney bean curry."

My simple prayer opens my eyes. Could it be this small space, our meager funds, this nutritious dish are blessings in disguise?

Oh yes, our space is cramped, but our family is close. Our funds budget-chained, but we're too-much-stuff-it's-stressing-me-out free. Our meals are simple {healthy}, but our bodies nourished well.

Could it be God's giving us what we really need. What we truly desire? More of Him and the things that matter? Less of this world? Could it be that in simple living, less truly becomes more?

My son cleans out his bowl faster than I can count blessings. My baby grins his two-tooth smile. And for the first time in awhile, I want more kidney beans too.

Kidney Bean Curry
A Delicious & Nourishing Indian Dish

3-4 tbls. oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup crushed tomatoes (or diced)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1-2 tsp grated ginger (the more the better:))
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 heaping tsp garam masala (found in Indian grocery stores or perhaps International section of your local grocery)
2 cans kidney beans (don't drain)

Fry onions in large pot until translucent (about five minutes). Add ginger, garlic and tumeric, fry for one minute. Add tomatoes and remaining spices. Let simmer for ten minutes until oil separates from spices. Add kidney beans and salt to taste. If there isn't enough curry, add a little water. Simmer for 1/2 hour and serve with Basmati or Jasmine rice. Garnish with Cilantro.

Optional: add a variety of vegetables. I added grated carrots, and roasted red peppers. To learn how to roast a red pepper click here Sometimes I add spinach.

Note: I didn't have crushed tomatoes so I used tomato juice. This will work just fine, but to get a thick curry, it's best to use crushed tomatoes.

How has less become more in your life?

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Melanie N Brasher is a full time mama of two boys and wife to an incredible husband. She moonlights as a fiction and freelance writer, crafting stories and articles toward justice and change, and dreams of becoming a voice for the unheard. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a contributing blogger at Hoosier Ink. Though she’s an aspiring author, she’ll never quit her day job.


  1. What a touching post, Joy! Thanks for the food for the heart as well as the stomach.

  2. Hi, Joy - thanks for posting! This looks GREAT! My sweet friend Ani used to make this. I don't think I can make it here in Brazil, though, because we don't have kidney beans. Our beans are more like pintos or black beans, and the taste/texture is completely different. I bet garbanzos (chickpeas) would work, though.

    Thanks so much for the encouraging post!

  3. I just made this dish yesterday after special ordering the Garam masala since I live in the land of nowhere ( free shipping!) and it was great! Hubby couldn't stop saying that it needs to go in the dinner rotation, and he's a "every meal needs meat" kind of man.