Sunday, 3 July 2011

Rajma !

Rajma or red kidney bean was brought to the Indian subcontinent from Central Mexico and Guatemala. A very popular North Indian  dish consisting of a thick gravy rajma is usually served with rice or roti. 

I suggest you make a larger quantity than you normally would and freeze what you wont eat in one go . This is because Rajma is a bit time consuming to make as you need to soak it over night and then cook it slowly - for the Red Kidney Beans to release their flavors . Make the whole quantity , divide it into desired lots and freeze ! Tastes the same a few weeks later too .

500 Grams Rajma / Red Kidney Beans . Wash well and soaked in about 2 litters of water to which you have added Salt , a stick of Cinnamon , 2-3 Black Cardamons , 1-2 Curry Putta / Bay Leaf .

Next morning the beans will have re hydrated themselves with the water and will be twice their size almost . Don't throw the water ! Pressure cook the rajma in the same water for about 20-25 minutes ( after the first 4 whistles turn flame to low to simmer and cook ), remove from heat and let the rajma remain in the cooker for about 30 minutes ,

then strain the rajma and retain the liquid , don't throw it as it has all the flavors !
The masaala :
2 Large Onions ( grated or chopped small ).
250 Grams Red Tomatoes pureed .
1 Tablespoon Garlic Paste .
1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste.
1 Teaspoon Kashmiri Degi Mirch Chili Powder . ( Has more colour than pungency )
1 Tablespoon Dhania / Coriander Powder .
1 Tablespoons Rajma Masaala Powder ( not necessary but makes a world of a difference to the flavor )
3-4 Dots of Hing / Asafoetida .

Heat 4-5 tablespoons oil . When smoking throw in the hinge . It will sizzle in 10 seconds , then add the onions and saute till translucent light golden . Now add the ginger garlic paste , cook another minute and add the tomato puree . Cook covered till oil separates from the gravy , cook on low to extract maximum flavors ). 

At this stage add all the masaalas and chili powder , cook a minute and now add the drained rajma without the liquid . Saute the rajma in the gravy for a few minutes , mash some rajma ( makes the gravy thick and tasty ), saute for 4-5 minutes over low heat . 

Now add the retained water in which you had pressure cooked the rajma . See how much more gravy you need and add water accordingly . At this stage I like to add 2-3 Green Chills chopped thick for extra flavor .Cover and cook on simmer for 20-30 minutes .

Adjust salt and chili to suit your taste . If you so desire you may add a teaspoon of Garam Masaala - I don't . For a very special touch , stir in 1 teaspoon of Kasoori Methi to the rajma just before taking the rajma off the flame .

Garnish with fresh green coriander and enjoy one of North India's favourite dishes !
                                                                                          
Kidney beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol, kidney beans' high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia

If you're wondering how to replace red meat in your menus, become a fan of kidney beans !

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