Rajma masala is the perfect blend of a spicy gravy with melt in the mouth bean.
I grew up in a multilingual neighborhood not knowing what a blessing that was. The food indulgences and festivals were never for one family.But what about daily food that too was not for one family :))I mean did u love the food ur friend brought everyday to school or is it just me ? My friend S Kaur used to bring choley,rajma ,dal makhani and so many saags which tasted awesome. Her mom knew how much I loved it so she would come to the balcony occasionally and shout at the top of her voice saying,"Meena, I have sent rajma with S do eat in the afternoon okay don't forget okay !! this broadcast happens in Hindi though and the whole neighborhood would have heard her ... Oh!no feeling ashamed? not me I would reply in the same volume "thank you Auntiji".My school days were simpler when phone calls were meant only for long distance or after 9 in the night for sure some bad news.All the other friendly expressions were always loud,clear and face to face:))).
Auntiji used to send extra food but I don't think she knew how many Meenas ate from that :D The steel lunch box had some cucumber and onion slices, few rotis and awesome rajma in a curry dibba.This went on for a while.Then a few years later S went back to Punjab from Kerala.While they were leaving we went to see off at the railway station.There were suit cases and few large cartons all marked 'fragile'.Since all their things were transported by road we knew this must be really breakable stuff.
One of our friends Ar who stayed close to the station brought adrak wali chai and hot samosas.As we sat there enjoying it admist the chaos the train arrived and the porter swung into action by lifting a large feather light box and vanishing into the crowd. Uncleji worriedly ran after him yelling something .I looked at Auntiji with a puzzled face, she stood there shaking her head in disbelief and said ,"Betta ,there is plantain chips inside I hope that fellow doesn't crumble it .Those are for all our relatives." :)))))
Fast forward --S's latest update is her toddler pulled out the escape button from the new laptop with the help of a toy .We laughed on how times have changed also the criteria of ' fragile ' is not bothering anymore :))S tells me she misses the idli sambar and banana chips!!!
Over to my story now!Love having rajma with rice the next morning too when all the flavors sink in, so that is what u see here.In March, I took 93 pics ya! of rajma alone okay let me not go to the numbers you might come here and beat me :D but I can tell you it was a learning process on how light works so bear with me cos I just did not have the heart to delete. Rajma tastes good anytime of the year but awesome on cold mornings.:))
Rajma - 1 cup or more (soaked over night in large pot with 5 cups of water )
Red onion- 2 large
Tomato- 2 large
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Green chili -1 -2
Red chili powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
kasuri methi - 1/2 tsp (crushed with ur palms)
Cumin seed- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala -1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
Cardamom- 2 -3
Cloves -2 -3
Salt to taste
Amchur powder(mango powder)- 1/4 tsp or chaat masala
Tea bag - 1 (for deep brown color)
Butter- 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves - few to season
1. Pressure cook the rajma adding enough water to a really tender but not mashed up stage .Keep the stock for gravy and add only according to the thickness required.
2. Heat a few tsps of cooking oil and add the whole spices that is cumin,bay leaf,cinnamon,cloves cardamom saute for a minute the add the ginger garlic paste,green chili, the onions finely chopped when they become brownish add tomatoes chopped when that becomes mashed add powder turmeric powder ,salt ,coriander powder and continue sauteing till the masala leaves sides and masala dries up and leaves sides at this point pour the rajma stock 1-2 cup let it boil then add the cooked rajma reduce heat Insert tea bag into the boiling curry and tie the end to the handle of pot.Keep the pot covered and let the curry simmer for 10-15 minutes.Open lid and discard the tea bag after that.
3. Mash a few rajma beans by pressing it with ladle to the walls of the pot add kasuri methi, green chili slit garam masala ,amchur, mix well simmer for 3-4 minutes switch off flame and sprinkle the coriander leaves on top and also drop the butter piece into it cover and keep it aside to rest and flavors to sink in for at least 2 hours.
Goes well with flat breads but excellent with white rice.
Curry tastes best the next day.
- Adding amchur / chaat masala brings the much needed tang that tomatoes do not give.It is optional but I just lovvve it.
- I sometimes go for two cans of organic red kidney beans and forgo soaking and pressure cooking.
- Store bought tomato paste -2 tsp gives a rich color to the curry.
Please let me know if my stories are getting longer these days :)
Hope to hear from u lovely people out there.
Hope to hear from u lovely people out there.
This recipe is going to Princy's MLLA event