Rajma chawal (red kidney beans with rice) is a vegetarian delight, its rich flavor and appetizing aroma has something special to offer. Rajma Chawal is a meal in itself, capturing the nutrition and taste of authentic Indian cuisine. Extremely popular in North India, this dish is a must-have at every house and restaurant. Rajma is the same as the Red Kidney beans known in the United States. This dish is undoubtedly the main attraction on the dining table.
This recipe is very close to me which has memories of Sunday afternoon as I spent eating rajma chawal while talking to the family. The constant every Sunday was always rajma chawal. It is a complete meal which has rich in flavors and nutrition. The flavor gets absorbed in rajma and combined with rice brings back the lost energy in you and wakes up your senses. It was almost like the sacred Sunday routine. It is served with onion rings is lightly pickled in vinegar/ lemon juice for a couple of hours and spiced with salt, chili, and jeera. The crunch of onions in between those bites of rajma chawal, it almost tastes of childhood for me.
My mother’s trick to good rajma is the grating of the onions. I have tried both- with finely chopped onions and grated onions. The results have been significantly better with the latter. The juice from the grated onion helps permeate the dish with flavor. I also think grated onions give a thicker gravy and texture. These are just my assumptions, and even though grating the onions is more effort, I find the results worth it.
RAJMA CURRY is the quintessential North Indian dish, but its chief ingredient — the red kidney bean — is not of Indian origin. It is native to the New World-Central Mexico and Guatemala, to be precise. The Spaniards and the Portuguese brought the bean back to Europe. The dry seeds were a valuable source of protein for sailors, and ships soon carried the kidney bean to Africa and Asia. It had a special place in the diet of Native Americans.
The term “kidney bean” refers to the shape of the bean, but it is also true that Native Americans used the bean to treat a variety of kidney and bladder complaints. The seeds are also a valuable source of minerals like potassium, manganese, zinc, copper, and iron. Kidney beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol, kidney beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, kidney beans provide virtually fat-free high-quality protein.
Rajma Chawal Recipe
For pressure cooking rajma:
- Rajma 2 cups
- Water 5 cups
- Salt 1/2 tsp
For rajma masala
- Onion 3(medium)
- Tomato 4(medium)
- Garlic chopped 1 tbsp
- Ginger chopped 1 tbsp
- Turmeric 1/2 tsp
- Coriander powder 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala 1/4 tsp
- Cumin powder 1/4 tsp
- Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
- Ghee 2 tbsp
- Salt as taste
For rajma cooking
- Rinse and soak the rajma or kidney beans in enough water overnight or for 8-9 hours.
- Next day, discard the water and rinse the beans again in fresh water.
- In a pressure cooker, take both the rajma and water.
- Pressure cook on a medium to high flame for 15 to 20 minutes.
- When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid.
- Check if the rajma is cooked or not by taking a bite or pressing a bean.
- If the rajma are not cooked completely, then pressure cook again adding some water if required for some minutes.
For rajma masala
- Heat ghee in the skillet.
- Now add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
- Add chopped ginger garlic and give it a nice stir.
- Now add grated onions and saute them till they caramelized or golden brown.
- Add turmeric, coriander powder, red chili powder and garam masala.
- Now add tomato puree and sprinkle salt.
- Stir and saute the whole masala mixture till the fat starts leaving the masala.
- Now add boiled rajma and mix it well.
- Cover it with the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- When it starts simmering add cumin powder and chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve it with steamed rice.