Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Punjabi Rajma Masala/Red Kidney Beans Curry

Honestly I m not a big fan of Rajma. Thatz b’coz I had some kitchen experiments with Rajma that went wrong! With me stuff works like that. So I never bothered to cook these beans at home although M used to occasionally order this when we go to restaurants.
Only after coming to Chandigarh I realized how much he liked it saying that he could live with a simple classic Punjabi rajma masala. Now I have a mission!!! After a lot of analysis I found that the mistake was in the cooking of beans. So after a lot of reading, I understood the basics of cooking Rajma. I want to be on the safer side so this time when we went for grocery shopping M suggested to buy these Kashmiri Rajma which were smaller than the regular ones and also dark red or wine red in colour. He told me that these will get cooked easily. It cooked well without being mushy. Now making a masala is easy. The masala was simple tasty and comforting. I liked it better with rice than roti. But m liked it with roti. M was happy with the taste!
Rajma /Red kidney beans-1 cup
Onions-2 large sliced
Tomatoes-2 large sliced
Ginger-1 inch piece, thinly sliced
Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
Red chili powder- ¾ -1 tsp
Coriander powder-1& ½ tsp
Garam masala – ¾ tsp
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Milk – ½ cup
Oil-2 tbsp
Coriander leaves-to garnish
Salt-as needed

How it Happened:
1. Wash and soak the beans in water overnight. Pressure cook the beans with the same water that it was soaked in with little salt. Cool down and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan add jeera /cumin seeds when they pop add sliced onion and fry.
3. When onions become transparent, add grated ginger and cook for another minute.
4. Now add tomatoes, simmer and cook covered until the tomatoes turn mushy.
5. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder and salt and cook for a minute in simmer.
6. Mash about quarter of the cooked rajma with the back of the ladle.
7. Add the rajma along with the stock (the water in which it boiled).Now add 1 more cup of water.
8. Turn the gas to complete simmer, cover the pan and allow it to boil for 10 minutes.
9. Now add garam masala and cook for another 5 minutes.
10. Add the milk and allow it to cook until it reaches the desired consistency.
11. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with hot Rice or rotis.

*Do not overcook the beans; else it will become mushy which will be the last worst thing you want to happen in your kitchen. I forgot to soak the beans prior night (yes, an absent minded crow) but M told me that Kashmiri Rajma get cooked easily, so I soaked them in boiling water for 6 hours and when I gave them a bite I was amazed by the taste (I have the habit of tasting the beans varieties while soaking to check whether they are ready for boiling) .It was crunchy and could be eaten raw. I cooked it in 5 cups of water for 5 whistles in medium flame. It turned out well cooked and non-mushy (yay!).But with the other regular type Rajma soaking overnight is advised.
*Simmering the curry for a long time helps the beans to absorb more flavours hence I added one more cup of water.
*Mashing the rajma helps the curry thicken, also adjust water as per your desired consistency.

* Skip the milk and add cream just a minute before switching after the flame, do not allow to boil.

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