I have fond memories of this one. Rajma Chaawal(Red kidney beans simmered in a thick gravy with white basmati rice) is my most most favorite dish. It was a regular fare in our house, made usually for sunday lunch. For years, I tried to replicate my mom’s rajma… but with little success. My mom is the most fabulous, legendary cook of our family. Coercing the poor bean to produce the same result as my mother’s hand was actually being criminal. So I made peace with the bean. Consoled myself by accepting the fact I could never match up to my mum. And there! Life tasted better and so did my rajma :).
But whenever I visit her, I skip and trip at the thought of being fed my mom’s incredible cooking.
It’s sad but true, the husband and daughter have no place for this amazing comfort food in their choicest menu cards. The husband was not born and brought up on a bed of rajma… he doesn’t care much for it, and the kid has taken after the father.
I say tastes can be acquired(Husband argues, “it is not beer or black coffee”), but the child is made to bear the brunt of excessive feeding of this wholesome curry down her tiny food track.
I ignore the whines and grimaces, and at every bite, exclaim “yummy no?”. No she answers.
Please dear foodies, try this recipe out and help me reaffirm the dwindling status of kingly Rajma.
- 1 cup red kidney beans, washed and soaked overnight, boiled well with a bit of salt.
- 2 spoon full of ghee — please use butter or ghee, don’t compromise the taste with oil
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- a tiny piece of ginger
- 1 big onion, chopped coarsely
- 2 small tomatoes, chopped coarsely
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp of chopped coriander to garnish
First, make a paste of ginger, green chili, garlic and onions. Remove in a bowl, in the same pot add chopped tomatoes and make a puree out of it.
Now, in a pot, heat ghee. Once hot, add cumin seeds and the onion garlic paste. Fry well. Once pinkish, add the pureed tomatoes, along with red chili powder and turmeric powder. Cover and saute really well. This could take awhile, say approximately 15 minutes.
I haven’t used coriander powder or any garam masala. The lesser ingredients you throw in the better it tastes, well.. according to me. The key is to saute real well( be patient, try yoga before making it..:))Don’t let the rawness of onions and tomatoes spoil this heavenly dish.
Once done, stir in the boiled red kidney beans, mash a little bit with the back of your ladle. The gravy blends with the bean. It should not look like the bean is separate from the curry( this usually means, either the rajma is not cooked fully or you have had no patience with sauteing).
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve super hot with aromatic basmati rice or rotis. But rice tastes best. So, when in a mood for a treat, kick the diet plan, indulge in some white rice and this heavenly gravy!