Ask any Punjabi staying away from Home ,"what do you miss the most in home cooked meals"? Rajma Masala is what the majority will answer.To put it correctly most will answer "Ma ke haath ka Rajma Chawal"(Rajma Chawal made by my mom).I Keep this dish in the category "Comfort Food".Here is what I think is a simple recipe of Rajma.
Rajma (Kidney Beans)-1 cup
Red chilli powder-1 tsp(more if you like it spicy and hot)
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Garam Masala-1 tsp
Coriander Powder-1 tsp
Tomatoes-2 cup pureed
Garlic-1 tsp (minced)
Onions-2 (medium sized) grinded to a paste
Cilantro-finely chopped-1/2 cup
1.Soak Rajma in 4 cups of water overnight.
2.In the morning remove the water in which the rajma were soaked and add 4 cups of water to them again and add a pinch of asafoetida and let the rajma boil in a pressure cooker.
3.Cook the Rajma in the pressure cooker for 3 whistles and then on medium low flame for 30 mins.
4.Grind the onions and garlic together.
5.In a medium size pan ,put the 2 tblsp oil and then saute the onion garlic paste on medium heat till it turns brown in color and has lost its raw smell.
6.Meanwhile grind the tomatoes,ginger and green chilli together to a paste.Th reason for the onion-garlic and ginger-tomato combination is that ginger burns quickly at higher temperature and then the masala will carry the burnt ginger taste in it,if we saute the ginger with onion and garlic.
7.When the onion-garlic masala is sauted,add turmeric powder,red chilli powder,salt,coriander powder and garam masala.
8.Add the tomato ginger paste and let it saute.It will be cooked till the masala comes all together and leaves the side of the pan and also start leaving oil.
9.Once the rajma in the pressure cooker are cooked and the pressure is released.Add the Masala to rajma and let it cook on medium heat for few minutes to let it mix and boil.At this stage if you feel that rajma is not cooked enough (is not soft) ,add a little water if the gravy is too thick and put on the pressure cooker lid and let it cook for 2-3 whistles.
10.Mix in some of the cilantro and save some for the garnish.
11.Voila Rajma masala is ready.Serve it with Naan, or Matar Pulao.
12 Side dishes that go good along with Rajma are Boondi Raita,Vegetable Raita,Gobhi Aloo,Paneer Achari,Pickled Onions ,Masala Papad etc.
This Goes to Superchef for her event My Legume Love Affair and to Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.
1.Every Pressure cooker is different.Some may or may not take a longer time to cook the Rajma.
2.In step 2 I said replace the water in which the rajma were soaked with fresh water.This is a tip which I learned to reduce the gas (bloating) feeling you get after eating beans.Trust me it works for every bean.I added asafoetida for same reason.
3.If you want to make rajma in a jiffy,you can get canned Red kidney beans from the store.Don't use the water they are soaked in as it has lot's of salt.Instead rinse it in fresh water and if the kidney beans do't look soft enough cook it in pressure cooker with enough water.
4.When I am planning dinner parties,I make the onion tomato masala well ahead of time and keep it in fridge.It stays fresh.The recipe for the masala and storing it can be found here.