Rajma, as it is known in India is a much relished curry in North Indian households. Weather it is the guests coming over for lunch or weekend approaching, my mother would often cook it. The red kidney beans curry is one of the family get together staple food on the table. The advantage is, it yields atleast 6 times its dried beans quantity and amazing starchy texture of the bean. The beans are soaked for hours, they almost triple in size, then the gravy is added and then water. So the serving bowl is never empty, but will still have leftovers. I remember eating it without any accompaniment of rice and roti…just like that…piping hot in a big bowl, just like American chilli.
Note : One important thing to remember while cooking Rajma or Red kidney bean curry is that rajma is sweet in taste after being boiled. It needs to be cooked with a curry of more tomatoes and with little or no onions, since onions are also sweet in taste. If the curry has more onions or equal amount of onions as that of tomatoes, it will not taste, how it should. I learnt this the hard way ;).
I have made a huge pot, so that it can last he weekend :). You may reduce the quantities as desired. If you follow the curry proportions as is and take lesser red kidney beans, then use the adequate amount of the curry paste and store the rest in airtight container in fridge after cooling it.
Here is the recipe to share.
Serve : 8-10
Red kidney beans or Rajma : 3 cups dried soaked either over night or for 6-8 hours. They will double in size.
Oil : 2 tbsp
Fresh ingredients :
Onion : 1/4 cup paste or chopped fine
Tomato : 1&1/2 cups diced fresh or canned
Garlic : 2 pods
Ginger : big chunk
Cilantro / coriander leaves : 1/2 cup ( I didn’t have any so you might not see in the pictures)
Asafetida : 1 pinch
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp full
Turmeric : 1/2 tsp full
Coriander powder : 1 tbsp heaped full
Red chili powder : 1/4 tsp
Garam masala : 1 tsp
Salt : to taste
Whole spices :
Cinnamon stick : a small piece
Cloves : 4-5
Black pepper whole : 4-5
Red chili pepper whole dried : 2
Black cardamom : 1
Kasoori Methi : 1/2 tsp (optional)
Cook red kidney beans in pressure cooker for an hour. After first whistle, lower the flame to the minimum setting and simmer for 45 minutes. The beans should be soft and mushy.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in pan. Add cumin seeds and asafetida.
Now add all the whole spices. You can either break the whole chillies or add them whole. Broken chillies will give more heat to the curry.
Add onion ginger garlic paste and sauté on medium flame till onions are golden for about 4-5 minutes.
Now add diced tomatoes. Mix well.
Add dry powdered spices and salt to taste. If using canned tomatoes, be careful with the salt since they are already salted.
Cover and let simmer on lower flame till tomatoes become thick and curry comes together, for about 8-10 minutes on low flame.
The tangy tomato curry paste is ready.
Now add the curry paste to kidney beans and cook for another 25-30 minutes, on low flame while stirring ocassionally, till the curry paste and beans are married well together.
Enjoy it warm on the bed of Basmati Rice, as a side with Roti or Naan.