curried adzuki bean salad

one little project i've been working on lately is going through all my loose recipes and retyping them to put into a neat little binder. a collection of beloved recipes along with a few recipes on my to-do list... it's been great motivation to make a few of them. this one, is one of the beloved recipes. this salad is a staple in my family. potlucks, dinner parties, birthday parties, etc, this was often served up! the recipe calls for red lentils - delicious - but just for a change i used adzuki beans. pretty happy with the result! 

this makes a pretty large recipe, feel free to cut in half and still have some leftovers. also - since it's quite a process for making the curry spice blend, it's a good opportunity to make 3 or 4 times the spice mix so that it's ready for when you want to make the salad again. true, the spices are best when ground fresh... but the spice blend will keep well for 6 months or so and still pack a punch of flavor! 

12 oz adzuki beans, soaked overnight or 12 oz red lentils
1 bay leaf

1/4 cup vegetable oil 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup currants
1/3 cup capers, drained
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup parsley, chopped

place beans in a bowl and cover with water to soak overnight. the water should be at least 2 inches higher than the beans. in the morning drain the beans and place them in a pot with new water and bay leaf. simmer on low for 30-60 minutes until tender but not falling apart. strain, let cool and place in a large bowl.  

measure all spices - best if you can start with most of them in whole form - and grind them in a spice mill or coffee grinder. whisk together with oil, venegar, sugar and salt. poor over the beans, add remaining salad ingredients and gently fold to mix all together. marinate for at least 2 hours - better 5-6 hours or overnight! great on its own or over a bed of butter lettuce! 

happy spring cleaning everyone!