Say punjabi rajma and my mouth is already watering, not to mention a lovely decade spent in Chandigarh the capital city of Punjab, enjoying good authentic punjabi food and thanks my mom who is a fabulous cook herself, this dish lives upto the hype it creates!
I am a big big fan of Rajma and so is my younger brother. So it took me by surprise, when my hubby politely refused to rajma as a lunch option and always suggested ways to get away from it! Now for a foodie, that’s definitely the least u would expect, given the richness of Rajma’s taste. I later figured out, that DD2 had rajma at some place in hyderabad with his uncle and ended up in bed because of food poisoning ! “aahaaann adhaanaa vishayam..” –> errr that explains why he would escape this lovely dish now right, phew it wasnt my cooking then. I know this is a tall claim but yes me and my reputation to make folks like and fall in love with the food that they hate as in really dislike, worked like a charm on DD2. Finally after 3 years of convincing and cooking rajma the authentic way, he fell in love with something that he thought he would never ever have in his life again! 🙂
Note: What I have learned through this experience is that there is no shortcut to cooking !!! So if you have the time please please and please prepare the dish with the actual time required !
Here is the recipe !
1) 2 Cups of Rajma – Red Variety
2) 4 Cups of Water
3) 1 Tsp – Baking Soda
4) 6-8 Pods of Garlic(medium sized) – crushed & minced —-> This defines the flavor of authentic Rajma !
5) 2″ Ginger – julliened, 4 green chillies – finely chopped
6) 2 Onions – finely chopped
7) 4 tomatoes – chopped
8) 1 Tbsp – Garam Masala
9) 1 Tsp – Amchur (Dry mango powder)
10) 1/2 Tsp – Jeera Powder
11) 1/2 Tsp – Turmeric powder
12) 1/2 Tsp – Coriander powder
13) Coriander leaves – a bunch
14) Vegetable Oil – 2 Tbsp , Ghee – 2 Tsp
15) Salt to taste.
1) Heat water in a pan. Add the 2 cups of Rajma. Bring to boil, add baking soda and let is soak overnight (min 8 hours).
2) Discard the water, wash and strain the rajma. Add this with 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker along with the whistle. Give it atleast 6 to 8 whistles. Remove from fire and let is rest. (Believe me some may question that I am already using baking soda so why pressure cook ! It works , what we need is a rajma beans that retains its shape yet melts when put in your mouth.
3) Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions and fry until golden brown. Add the chillies and fry for a min. Add the garlic and ginger and stir well for a min or two, Now add garam masala, jeera powder, turmeric, coriander powder, amchur and mix well. This will remove the raw smell of these powders and cook them so that their flavor is well absorbed.
4) Now add the chopped tomatoes. Add 1/2 cup water and let it cook on medium flame, till the tomatoes are cooked and the oil begins to separate on the sides of the pan. Remove from fire.
5) Open the pressure cooker. Add this tomato masala to the rajma. Mix well. Keep on fire and bring to boil. Add salt to taste and close the lid with whistle. After 2 whistle remove from fire.
6) After the pressure has released transfer to a serving dish.
7) Drizzle warmed ghee on top. Add coriander leaves. Serve hot with white rice !
BON APPETIT !