This is a rajma recipe shared by my dear friend Shaleen. The rajma that’s made at his place is the best I have ever eaten. Even talking about it makes my mouth water. I made him taste my version of rajma and - he liked it, but said that it is not how a typical Punjabi household would make it. That’s when he shared his recipe with me and here it is for you to make your own Punjabi style rajma without going round and round for years looking for “that” perfect recipe.
- Red beans (Rajma) - 1 cup, soaked over night
- Water - 2 cups
- To be made into paste: -
- Garlic - 12 - 15 cloves of garlic
- Ginger - 1
- Whole spices for tempering: -
- Black cardamom - 2 nos.
- Cinnamon - 1
- Cloves - 3 nos.
- To be chopped finely for gravy: -
- Tomatoes - 2 medium, finely chopped
- Ginger - 2 “ piece finely chopped
- Green Chilly (optional) - 1 -2 nos. finely chopped
- Spice mix: -
- Salt - 2 teaspoon or as per your taste
- Red chilly powder - 1 teaspoon or as per your taste
- Coriander powder - 1 1/2 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Everest Chana masala powder or rajma masala powder - 1 teaspoon
- Oil for cooking - 1 tablespoon
- Water (including in which red beans (rajma) were soaked ) - 2 cups or more as per desired consistency
Wash and soak red beans overnight. Do not discard this water, as it will be used for cooking the rajma.
Pressure-cook the rajma on a high flame. After the first whistle reduce the heat to low and cook for 25mins or up to 8 whistles. Let it cool a bit. Check if it's done by pressing between the index finger and the thumb. If it mashes easily then the rajma is ready. If it doesn’t then give few more whistles till it is cooked through.
Heat oil in a wok or pan, add whole spices, stir for few seconds till they begin to change color. This is being done to infuse the oil with the flavors.
Add finely chopped onions and stir fry till they turn translucent. To this, add chopped ginger and green chilies and stir fry for some more time till onion turns brown in color. (Onions will first turn translucent, then brown at the edges and then pinkish brown).
Add tomatoes, red chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt, coriander powder. Cover and cook on medium flame till tomatoes are soft and mushy, stir a few times during the cooking process. Sprinkle little water in between for the gravy to cook well and to prevent it from scorching. It will take about 10 – 15 mins. As it is a low-fat gravy you will not see oil floating on the sides of it. The only way to figure out if the gravy is cooked well is when the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
Mix in the rajma masala powder or chana masala powder and give it a stir.
Separate the water from boiled rajma and keep aside. Add the boiled rajma to the gravy and let it cook for 5 mins on a medium flame till rajma is coated with the spices. Now add ½ cup of hot water in which the rajma was boiled. Simmer for 10 mins and repeat this process till you get the desired consistency. If there is not enough of water from boiled rajma then please use plain water.
Add Tamarind chutney and cook for another 20 minutes. Adjust the consistency and seasoning of the rajma.
Long and slow cooking brings out the flavour of rajma and it tastes better. Ideal cooking time after mixing it in the gravy is 30 -40 mins. Serve it with rice.
There are three types of rajma available in the market:
- White with red dots, it gets cooked quickly.
- Kashmiri rajma: the red long ones
- Small red variety.
You can use any of these three varieties for the above preparation; however, the small red rajma is more flavorful.