I realised I don't have a rajma recipe on my blog though I cook it almost every fortnight or so. I cook so many versions of this bean that it's difficult to tell a recipe when someone asks. I will tell 5 versions in a single breath. Both red kidney beans and chickpeas are so versatile if you want to combine them with vegetables and want to have them as your stand alone meals.
I had posted a Maah-rajma and a Kashmiri rajma long ago, both absolute favorites. I had intended to update the other variants as well, but somehow they felt too 'run of the mill' recipes and other better sounding recipes were posted delightfully. I know I am guilty, I realised when I casually posted a rajma chawal picture, the way I love to eat, on my facebook page Healthy Living with Sangeeta Khanna. Apart from the likes and comments, many of friends inboxed me regarding the instant feeling of hunger that picture initiated. Some wanted to know how to make a creamy type rajma, the way it looked in the picture.
I know many people who have not grown up eating rajma, struggle to find the most accurate recipe that gives them the taste they get in Punjabi families. Having said that, every Punjabi family has it's own version as well, all tasting awesome.
Coming to this recipe, it was a chance trial I did to cook quick rajma for Arvind's lunch box. It was loved so much that I started cooking it quite often. It was so light and mild on spice that I could have it as a lunch all by itself. With a generous topping of butter as you see in the picture. Now the quick recipe. It actually takes 20 minutes to get ready, and you can do a few things on the sly.
I like it with just 2 tbsp of rice or just as it is. This time there was a lot of fresh tomatoes from the garden, very well enjoyed with a bowl of this comforting rajma meal. I made a baingan ka bharta too and had a filling meal.
3 cups soaked (overnight) rajma (red kidney beans) ...you need to soak about 1.5 cup beans for this
2 large red onions (about 150 gm, roughly sliced)
3 large red ripe tomatoes (about 300 gm)
2 tsp kashmiri red chilly powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tsp strong garam masala
salt to taste
butter as required
* The red kidney beans used here are the Badarwahi rajma, grown in Jammu and Kashmir.
Discard the soaking water and pressure cook the beans with 2 cups of fresh water,salt and the powder spices for 10-12 minutes after the first whistle.
In the meanwhile chop the onions and tomatoes and microwave them in a covered glass bowl for about 5 minutes. Puree them using a stick blender or in your mixie/food processor.
As soon as the rajma is boiled well, it should look cracked and soft, add the tomato onion puree to it, add a Tejpatta or Bay leaf into it and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Adjust seasoning and consistency of gravy by adding water if required.
Serve hot with a generous topping of butter if you wish.
As there is no oil/ghee used for cooking the masala separately, the butter is a nice addition. And gives this rajma a very tasty twist, almost like a makhni rajma.
There can't be a simpler recipe than this of a great tasting rajma. Do let me know when you try this.