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Indian Rajma Masala or Red Kidney Bean Curry (New Delhi)

If you are looking for comfort food anytime in India, this is the king of those dishes. Takes a bit of time to prepare, but then there are times when we like to be absorbed in a book while our curry simmers away. It tastes deliciously complete and is bound to touch your soul.

Rajma(Red Kidney Bean Protected content cup
Garam Masala powder- 1/4 tsp(optional)
Kasoori Methi Protected content pinch
Plain Yoghurt Protected content
Coriander leaves Protected content chopped
Salt - to taste

To temper:
Ghee or melted butter Protected content
Jeera or Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp

To saute and grind:
Coriander seeds Protected content ( can be replaced by 2.5 tsp coriander powder)
Red Chillies Protected content Kashmiri red chilli powder (adds color and is less spicy than whole chillies)
Onion Protected content sized diced small
Tomatoes Protected content sized diced small ( remember onion to tomato ratio must be 1:2 for this curry, you can use tomato puree too around Protected content instead of fresh tomatoes)
Garlic Protected content crushed
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece chopped small
Cinnamon - 1/4 inch piece
Cloves - 2
1 bay leaf
Clarified Butter or Ghee: 2 tbsp

1. Soak rajma overnight atleast for Protected content , rinse it in water for Protected content . Don't throw away this water in which they have been soaked as it has all the nutrients. Now pressure cook the rajma along with the water till immersing level until soft. it took 10 minutes in a pressure cooker else in a open saucepan it would take Protected content to get boiled (I did for 7 whistles, depends on variety of rajma),Strain the rajma and set aside.Reserve the drained rajma cooked water for later use.

2. Heat ghee in a wide sauce pan and add the ingredients listed under 'to saute and grind'. Add the whole spices like clove, cinnamon stick and bay leaf first. After sauteing on medium flame for half a minute add crushed ginger garlic, fry a minute and now take out the bayleaf and add the diced onion, frying them till they are light brown. Now add in the tomatoes and keep frying them till they are softened and mushy.Now mix in the dry spice powders of red chilli powder and coriander powder. Stir till well mixed and switch off the flame. Allow it to cool down.

3.Grind it to smooth paste without adding water,set aside. Heat ghee for tempering in the same pan - temper jeera, let it splutter.Then add the onion tomato paste.

4. Then add garam masala and saute for 2 mins then add reserved rajma cooked water and let it boil for Protected content . Dilute it well as it has to cook for more time.Then add cooked rajma and required salt.

5. Crush some of the boiled Rajma with the back of a spatula to thicken the gravy, cover the lid and lower the flame to simmer it for Protected content .

6. By now the rajma beans would have absorbed the gravy well.Add in yoghurt and if you like, a tbsp of fresh cream, give a quick stir and cook for Protected content . Finally garnish with coriander leaves and kasoori methi, give it a quick stir again and switch off the flame.

Serve it with hot steamed rice or fresh rotis/ paranthas (Indian bread).

By now the whole house would be full of the aroma of cooked rajma masala and would certainly pull you in, over any book you may have been reading while it cooked. So make a potful and invite some friends to share this heartwarming dish this weekend.

New Delhi Forum