"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Rajma Masala (Kidney Beans cooked in a spiced thick gravy)

Rajma with Rice or Roti/Paratha(Wheat Flatbread/unleavened Flatbread) is a popular Indian(Punjabi) dish. I remember one of my mates back in school days used to bring this delicious Rajma-Paratha roll for lunch...my mouth still waters when I think of it!

One my my husband's close friends had visited us a weekend before last and since I had Kidney beans soaking over the last few hours, it was then Methi(Fenugreek leaves) Roti  and Rajma Masala for dinner that night! He enjoyed every bite and was there while I cooked so I got to hear all the mmms and aahs of the spicy concoction each time it went into the skillet:)

You need:

  • 3 cups of Kidney beans (soaked in water at least 6-8 hrs or overnight)
  • 1 large onion or 2 medium sized onions
  • 2 green chilis slit lengthwise
  • 2 large ripened tomatoes diced finely (I prefer cubes)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or cumin powder (cumin/black jeera)
  • 1 inch of ginger - chopped and crushed
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1/2 tsp of asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp of Kashmiri Chili Powder(this one is less spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp of amchur(dry mango) powder
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • One sprig of cilantro/coriander leaves - finely diced with the stem
  • Garam Masala - Grind 2-3 cloves, 2 cardamoms, 1" cinnamon stick, 3-4 pepper corns to a powder (you can do this in advance and store in a glass bottle)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Oil/Ghee 1 tbsp *Traditional Punjabi preparation calls for Ghee(clarified butter)
  • Boiled/cooled water - as required
  • Salt to taste

The play:

Cooking Time: 20 minutes| Prep. Time 6-8 hrs| Serves 4 adults

1. Pressure cook the Kidney beans(Rajma) with the Garam Masala and asafoetida and drain once cooked. This takes about 10-12 minutes depending your pressure cooker ( I usually do 3 whistles on high and one on low).

2. Heat the oil and splutter cumin seeds. Saute the onions, crushed ginger-garlic, chilies and bay leaf(you can take out the bay leaf after the last mix before serving or leave it in)  in a deep bottomed non-stick pan. Once translucent, add the remaining spices and salt. Saute for a few more minutes.

3. Add the chopped tomatoes and some water and mix well. Cover and cook on medium flame, till the tomatoes are soften and absorbed the spices.

4. Next add the Rajma and water as required. Mix well. Using your wooden spoon, crush some of the Rajma to add to the thickness of the gravy. Allow to the Kidney beans and spices to blend well for another 10 minutes.

5. Garnish with chopped cilantro and onions(optional). You can serve this up with Rice/Roti/Paratha. I served mine with Methi(Fenugreek leaves) Rotis and Dahi(Yoghurt/Curd). Enjoy! Bon Appetit..

NB: If you have used Ghee and not added enough water, you will get a thicker base with not much gravy in which case you would not be able to enjoy as much with rice.

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