The vacations have got over and the younger kid started his school. Can’t believe that the younger one is in 9th grade. He continues to be the carefree, careless lad and I continue to be the worried mother . My prayers these days are largely for both my children, I hope and pray that they grow up into sincere, sensible human beings. The elder one has taken up photography seriously and wants to make a career in that. It’s his vacation time and he has been spending time with us. So, while he is around I ensure that I cook his favourites too and since he understands photography much better than me, pick up some photography tips as well , while I click.
I remember during our trip to Kashmir a few years back, the humble Rajma Chawal never failed to amuse us. It was the comfort food and easily available in most of the food joints there and the use of the Kashmiri kidney bean made it more tastier. The first time I had seen this variety of kidney bean was way back in 1998, when I had visited Jammu during my research work and I had picked up these small red beans. These Kashmiri beans are a local produce there and it was not available in Central India in those days. Now a days, these beans are seen in most of the high end grocery stores here in South India also and in North India it’s available in most of the grocery stores easily, which is quite expected as Rajma quintessentially is from North Indian Cuisine. If you are in Delhi, do visit INA to check out the variety of beans on display there in the grocery stores.
Since it’s summer time, I try to make my curries and food with less oil and spices so that they are light on the stomach and easy to digest. The elder one loves eating Rajma and Jeera Rice, I decided to make the combo but keeping the heat outside in mind, made a lighter version of the Rajma. I personally have a fondness for the Kidney Beans and off late for the Kashmiri variety for sure. So, I preferred to use the Kashmiri variety of the kidney bean to make this lighter version of Rajma, the beans of which are small in size, but very tasty. I prefer this variety for several reasons which have come from my observations and experiences, having used them for so many years. This bean soaks quickly, cooks faster, is easier to digest as compared to the other types and are definitely tastier too.
The Rajma curry turned out superb and the family relished it with the jeera rice and raw sliced onions which are a must with this lunch combo. The raw onions are important to aid digestion and beat the heat in summers. The Rajma curry is a high protein dish and perfect for vegetarians like us. It’s a gluten free preparation though not dairy free, as I had used ghee in a small quantity in my cooking, which added a great taste to the Rajma. It makes use of very few ingredients and most basic spices. All the natural flavours in the curry come from the use of ginger, green chilli and two whole spices.
So here’s a step by step tutorial to my version of light to eat and digest Rajma Curry.
हरी मिर्च-अदरक के स्वाद वाले राजमा
Green Chilli and Ginger flavoured Kidney Beans Curry
Soaking Time: 3-4hrs | Preparation Time: 10mins | Cooking Time: 45-50mins | Serves: 4-5 | Difficulty Level: Easy
Kashmiri Kidney Beans or any other type/ राजमा 4fists full (I take one fist full per person)4-5 spicy green chillies (all the spice comes from them)
5small tomatoes/ 3medium
3tbsp coriander powder
1tsp cumin powder
1/4tsp fenugreek seeds
1tsp अमचूर/ raw mango powder
salt to taste
3-4 bay leaves
3-4 green cardamom
MethodWash the dry kidney beans and soak them in water for 3-4hours.
Add half tea spoon salt to the soaked beans and pressure cook them. After the first whistle, reduce the flame and cook for 15mins more. Let the pressure drop and then strain most of the liquid.
In a pan heat ghee and oil together. Once the oil is warm add the fenugreek seeds followed by bay leaves and green cardamom. Do not let the fenugreek seeds burn.
Crush together the chillies and ginger and tip them into the oil. Sauté them for 30seconds and do not let them burn.
Grind the tomato or chop it finely (I blended them in my hand mixer) and push the tomatoes slowly into the oil from one corner, this avoids splattering of the oil. While doing this keep the flame low.
Increase the flame and add salt to taste (remember salt has been added to the kidney beans too), the salt helps to soften the tomatoes and cook faster. Once the tomatoes soften add the coriander and cumin powders and mix. Also, add the raw mango powder which adds to the sourness of the gravy.
Once the tomatoes start leaving the oil add the cooked beans and mix thoroughly. Cook on high flame for 3-4mis.
Add the strained liquid gradually and if required add more water. I added about a cup of water as this preparation has more liquid (remember it’s not watery). Let the curry come to a boil, then simmer and cook covered for 15-20mins. If you find that the gravy is runny, move a few kidney beans to the edge of the pan and using the back side of the ladle crush them, this will help to thicken the curry.
Garnish with coriander and serve with the jeera rice.
Ingredients For Jeera Rice1-1/2cups Basmati Rice
2tbsp cumin seeds
2green chillies, finely chopped
2 medium sized onions, finely sliced
salt to taste
Preparation Time:5mins | Soaking Time:15mins | Cooking Time: 12-15mins | Serves: 4-5 | Difficulty level: Easy
Method for Jeera Rice
Wash the rice several times with water till the water becomes clear. Soak it in a cup of water for 15mins.
Keep 2cups water for boiling.
Heat oil or ghee and splutter the cumin seeds, do not burn them else the flavour of rice will get spoilt. Since this is jeera rice and all the flavour that comes in the rice is from the cumin. the cumin added is a lot more.
Tip in the green chillies and chopped onion and sauté till the onions start to caramelise. If one doesn’t like onions, those can be completely avoided.
Strain all the water from the rice in a separate container and add the soaked rice.
Add salt to taste and sauté the rice for a minute.
Add the strained water and the boiling water. Once the rice starts boiling, put the lid of the pressure cooker without the whistle and simmer the gas. After 10mins, remove the lid and using a fork separate the almost cooked grains of the rice. Put the lid and cook till done. Be careful not to burn the rice.
More version Of Rajma