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Rajma Masala – Kidney Bean Curry
Rajma does not need any introduction for an Indian household. Likewise Kidney beans is widely known term in west too. Having said that Rajma has not been so popular as Chole (Chick Pea) or Samosa in west. Objective of my recipe here is to familiarise this to my audience in west as well as for the from Indian subcontinent to suggest how to make restaurant style authentic punjabi rajma masala.
Rajma masala is extremely rich in protein (thanks to protein content of kidney beans), is best enjoyed with steam rice (known as Rajma Chawal) is one of the healthiest option in Punjabi cuisine.
Rajma is almost a weekly affair in my home, as it finds its place in my weekday cooking, thanks to easy cooking recipe that I have.
Depending on your choice or availability of options you can use fresh kidney beans or can use the one in can. I normally prefer fresh ones if cooking on weekend with all lavish time to hand, however when in rush, I use the canned version too.
Recipe is fairly simple, which involves boiling the kidney beans (if using fresh ones) and then saute with spices. The scrumptious taste comes from aromatic spices and the other ingredients that form the gravy, which then gets infused into the kidney beans, giving it a unique flavour. Whilst am drafting this recipe, I am myself tempted to go and eat a bowl of this 😛
If you like punjabi and north indian cuisine, you may like to try out these never fail recipes :
Wash thoroughly Rajma / kidney beans and soak them in enough water for 8 hours or overnight.
Drain the water and transfer them into a pressure cooker. Add 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pressure cook them over medium heat for around 4-5 whistles. Turn off the flame and keep aside till the pressure releases. You can skip step 1 and 2 if you using canned kidney beans.
Heat oil in a Pan / Kadhai and add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Once they crackle add dried red chillies, chopped garlic and ginger. Sauté for a minute and then add chopped onion and sauté until onion becomes translucent.
Now add rest of the spices and sauté again for a minute. Add chopped tomato and Sauté until the mixture start leaving oil.
Add boiled Rajma/kidney beans and mix well. Now mash some beans with the backside of spatula. This helps in thickening of the gravy and improving its taste and texture. Cook for 8-10mins and switch off the heat. Don’t cook more than beyond this as gravy will only be thinking more once it cools and you may not want absolutely thick gravy.
Transfer it to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot and Enjoy with jeera rice or simply steamed rice.
Pressure cooking time may vary as depends on the soaked kidney beans. So always check for the properly cooked beans once you open the pressure cooker after it’s pressure is released.
I use red kidney beans because they take lesser time to cook and has soft texture after cooking. However you can use other kidney beans as well, only the boiling time will vary.
You can also use canned kidney beans for quick preparation when you are short of time and want to avoid the soaking and boiling part.
Do not forget to crush a few kidney beans for that rich gravy oozing with taste.