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     I immigrated to the USA from India in 1995. Shortly thereafter, I met Joanna at a voluntary organization and we became good friends. Joanna was brought up on frozen and canned food. She says she tasted her first real food at my home and fell in love with Indian food. She loved the vegetables, the yogurt, the chutneys, the basmati rice but what really did her in, was the garbanzo beans!! She had never tasted something so heavenly. I had simmered the  garbanzos (chana) slowly with onion, ginger, and turmeric. I had then added pomegranate seeds and roasted cumin.
Even now, whenever we meet she brings up her experience with the garbanzo beans. She has since tried my rajma (kidney beans), my rongi (black eye beans) and loves them too. She now creates her own heavenly experiences by cooking beans, Indian style, herself.

--Samhita Surya
In the gourmet world, dried beans and lentils are enjoying a renaissance of sorts. A staple of many a global cuisine, dried beans and lentils are extremely versatile. They can be made into wonderful soups, infused with herbs and vegetables. They can be used in salads sprinkled with lime juice. Beans also can be puréed and served as a dip or spread, or mashed and made into koftas.
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