Lentils and grains have always been one of my favorites, especially Rajma Chawal. I love such healthy nutritious meals where just one dish is enough to go with rice and a side-salad, and one literally doesn’t need anything else to remain happy. Thats right! For me a good soulful rajma Chawal defines happiness and the ultimate gourmet satisfaction! This dish held a special place in my life as a kid. The first time my mom made it for us after taking down the recipe from one of our family friends who were sardars (Sikhs). It was that moment I fell absolutely in love and perhaps this love was ever-lasting. Rajma Chawal (rajma means kidney beans, Chawal means rice) is one of the most popular dishes of North India, especially in Delhi and Punjab.
For this recipe, we typically wash and soak the beans for minimum 8 hours. Then we pressure cook it until the beans turn soft. However you could use the canned beans (drained) too to avoid hassles.
Red kidney beans curry is best enjoyed with white rice but they also go well with rotis. In India they say if you really want to savor the extreme deliciousness of this dish, ditch the fork and spoon and dig in with your hands!! Yes you heard me right :)…it will taste ten times better when you get to lick off awesomeness from your fingers! 😛 Sounds gross?? Lol!! But that’s the way we love to eat our beloved rajma Chawal! 😀
Red kidney beans: washed and soaked for 8hours
Ginger: 1 large piece
Garlic: 3 cloves peeled
Hunt’s tomato paste: 1 tbsp
Green chillies: 3
Hing / asafoetida:1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder: 1 tsp
Amchoor powder: 1 tsp
Coriander leaves: finely chopped
Salt: as per taste
Wash and soak the beans for minimum 8 hours. Drain and pressure cook on high till you get the first whistle and then on low for 20 mins. Once the pressure goes down, open the lid and lightly smash a few beans with the back of your spatula.
Grind the ginger garlic and green chillies into a fine paste.
In a separate pan, add some oil. Add Hing. Once the Hing sizzles, add the ginger garlic and green chilli paste. Cook until the raw smell is gone.
Puree the tomatoes in a blender.
Add the pureed tomatoes. Also add the tomato paste. Mix well.
Add the spices – turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder. Mix well.
Cook this down until oil starts separating.
Add this mixture into the pressure cooker with the boiled beans along with its water. (Don’t discard the water that remains after boiling the beans)
Turn the cooker on. Add Garam Masala, Amchoor powder, salt and chopped coriander leaves. Mix well. Bring this to a boil.
Put the lid back on and pressure cook on high for 2 whistles. This helps to get everything incorporated well, the beans turn softer and the gravy gets a rich creamy texture.
Serve rajma or kidney beans curry on a bed of white rice. I served it along with a simple avocado tomato salad. This was so delicious that all of us had to go back for a second serving! It was that good! Hope you guys enjoy it too 🙂