A bean brought in from Mexico; has become a unoffical state bean for many north indian states in India ! Largely grown and eaten in the northern parts of India , rajma beans aka red kidney bean is an all time favorite in my household. My lil one’s eyes lit up at the sight of this dish ! There is nothing more relaxing than gobbling up a hot bowl of delicious rajma curry along with a steaming mountain of rice.
How did I develop this crazy love for Rajma /Red Kidney Bean ?? Well, I grew up amongst North Indians. I spent 25 years of my life around them and one thing I learned during my time with them is — North Indians are flamboyant people..
They believe in living life “King” size. Just like how a coin has two sides, North Indians too share this quality … They have quirks which you will often find humourous and/or feel aghast with and there are those loving ways which will make you fall in love with them. Everything about them is theatrical ! There is this one quirk they follow which stuck to me like glue to the paper — They love ironing things ! I have witnessed Punjabi aunties ironing everything in their household and I mean everything ! This fascinates me… I don’t know why but it does !!
North Indians love their food and drinks and love it even more when they share. Drinks and food is eaten and shared with family and friends boundless ! Everything is celebrated ! Even Sundays ! A usual sunday in a North Indian household will always include a bottle or two of whiskey before lunch and delicious chicken curry or rajma chawal to follow and a long nap before evening chai !!
Negating the drinking sessions, my family kinda adapted few lifestyle habits from our neighbours back then ! One I feel blessed with – My mom mastered the art of making rajma and she has so graciously passed on the recipe to me as well !
I hope you enjoy making this recipe and love eating it as much as I do !! Happy cooking !
- Rajma needs soaking for 6-8 hours so plan ahead.
- Rajma has to be cooked second time even when it boiled as this process will reduce the bitterness in the bean.
250-300 gms Rajma/ Kidney Beans
3 Medium sized Onions
4 Large Sized Juicy Red Tomatoes
2 Inch long Fresh Ginger
6 Garlic Cloves
2 Tsp Red chilli Powder
1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
2 Tbsp Desi Ghee/ Oil / unpasteurized Butter
Salt to taste
Enough Water for boiling the beans and to thin the gravy if necessary
Wash and soak rajma beans for 6-8 hours and then pressure cook thoroughly so they can be easily mashed between fingers. This should take 5-6 whistles minimum.
While the beans are cooking the pressure cooker, prepare the curry base. pulverize onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic to a smooth paste.
In a hot pan , add ghee / oil and wait until it melts. Add the gravy base to the melted ghee and cook covered until most of the water content is evaporated. This should take about 15 minutes. Add powdered spices and saute for another 5 mins.
Add the cooked beans and mix well. Cook for another 20-30 minutes on medium-low flame so all the bitterness eliminates. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and serve along with steamed rice or parathas.