Shital's-Kitchen: Rajma Rice/ Kidneybean Curry with Steamed Rice

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rajma Rice/ Kidneybean Curry with Steamed Rice

When it is snowing or raining heavily outside, what more can you ask for than hot Basmati rice and spicy Rajma Masala!

A long time ago, (almost before 15 years) when we were traveling back from Gulmarg in Kashmir (northern part of India), we halted at a small rustic tent restaurant called Dhaba. The only food served in the little restaurant was a plate full of steaming hot Basmati rice with a large serving of Kidney beans cooked in tomato gravy (Rajma masala). A large spoon full of clarified butter/ Ghee would be poured over Rice and Rajma. This was served along with tangy anardana chutney/pomegranate chutney and a large glass of salted buttermilk. Since then Rajma and rice are our family favorite specially on cold snowy or rainy days.

This is one of the quick recipes and a great lunch meal to carry to work. I used to make this very often for Snehanshu while we were in Utah. He would just heat it in the microwave and a yummy hot meal was ready for snowy days!

Soak kidney beans 6-8 hours or for 2 hours in fairly warm water (I do this often when we have a sudden urge of eating hot, spicy Rajma/kidney bean curry with rice) Pressure cook soaked kidney beans with salt till they are done. (maybe up to 3-4 whistles or 30 minutes depending on your pressure cooker)

Saute 1 cup of finely chopped onions in 1 tbsp ghee till it turns pink.

Meanwhile roughly chop 4 tomatoes and puree them in the blender.

Pureed tomatoes ready!

Add the puree to sauteed onions.

Add a pinch of turmeric,  1 tsp. chilli powder and salt.

Cover and cook tomatoes of 10 minutes. When done you will find ghee and spices floating over the puree.

Using a hand blender (a very useful toll in my kitchen for quick cooking) blend onions and tomatoes to form a smooth gravy.

I prefer MDH  Rajma powder. The main ingredient for any rajma masala is Amchur powder/ dry raw mango powder  and anardana powder/pomegranate powder which makes is deliciously tangy.

When I run out of this store bought powder or if it is not available I add a 1 tbsp. coriander powder, 1 tsp. clove powder, 1 tsp. cinnamon powder, 2 tsp. dry pomegranate powder. 2 tsp. amchur/ dry raw mango powder.

Add 3 tbsp. of spice powder. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes

Add pressure cooked kidney beans. cover and simmer for 15 minutes. You want the kidney beans to absorb the delicious spice and get tasty. 
Since you will be pouring them over plain rice, remember to make the kidney beans little more salty and spicy. Together with rice it should not taste bland :)

Over freshly cooked hot steaming Basmati rice...

Pour hot Rajma masala /kidney bean curry and spoon full of clarified butter/ghee (optional)

Enjoy hot, spicy, tangy Rajma Rice while sitting in the porch or balcony on snowy or rainy days!

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