Kidney beans cooked in tomato sauce and Indian spices – a specialty from the northern Indian state of Punjab.
Rajma (or Kidney Beans) is a specialty from the state of Punjab. It comes under the legume family and is a hard bean. Rajma chawal (Kidney Beans with Rice) is a regular fare in all Punjabi families and is also very popular all over North India. Chholey /chana masala , Daal Makhani and Amritsari Kulcha are other very popular recipes from Punjab
The basic idea for the rajma recipe is as follows. The Rajma bean should be soaked properly at least for 8 hours or overnight then boiled till it becomes soft. I prefer to use pressure cooker to boil rajma and all hard beans. The main secret for a creamy Punjabi Rajma Masala is to cook the beans till it becomes soft to touch. The boiled rajma is cooked with sauteed tomato and spices and simmered for at least 30 minutes so that all the flavors are absorbed in the rajma.
If you want to tweak the rajma recipe for a special occasion you may add some fresh cream in it to make it richer and creamier.
There are many varieties of Rajma available in the market – deep red, pink, large sized, medium sized, solid colored, spotted, and the famous “Jammu ka Rajma” (small and red). You can use any variety according to your preference and availability. The cooking time may vary according to the variety of Rajma you use, but the rajma recipes remains largely the same.
Rajma Recipe, How To Make Punjabi Rajma Masala
- 2 cup Kidney Beans / Rajma Raw
- 325 gms Tomatoes / Tamatar chopped (3 tomatoes - medium sized)
- 1.5 tsp Ginger / Adrak grated
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder / Haldi Powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 1.5 tsp Coriander Powder / Dhaniya Powder
- 1 tsp Mango Powder / Amchoor Powder
- 1/3 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1 tsp Dried Fenugreek / Kasoori Methi
- 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander / Cilantro / Hara Dhaniya chopped
- 4 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida / Hing powder
- 3/4 tsp Cumin Seeds / Sabut Jeera
- 2 Bay Leaves / Tej Patta
- 4 pods Green Cardamom / Hari Elaichi
- 2 Cloves / Lavang
- Wash rajma and soak in enough water for minimum 8 hours.
- After 8 hours drain the water and rinse twice with fresh water.
- Add soaked rajma, grated ginger, chili powder, salt, and cloves.
- Add about 4 cups of water in the cooker and pressure cook on medium heat for about 5-6 whistles or till rajma become soft.
- The cooking time depends on the quality of the rajma.
- When pressure subsides, open the cooker and check the beans by gently pressing one with your fingers. If it crushes easily then its done, else cook further for few more whistles (if you are using a pressure cooker), as even slightly undercooked or hard beans don't taste nice and you will not get that creamy texture.
- Grind chopped tomatoes and green chilies to make a smooth paste.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and add bayleaves, cumin, asafoetida.
- When cumin start crackling add the pureed tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, mango powder and cook till oil start separating from the tomato mixture.
- Now add cooked rajma along with the water and mix.
- Add some more water (about 1- 1.5 cup) to adjust the consistency of rajma masala according to your preference (If you want to serve rajma with rice then make it of medium consistency and if want to serve along chapati then make it slightly thicker).
- Add 1.5 tbsp of butter and kasoori methi and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Add garam masala, chopped coriander and 1 tbsp butter and let it come to a boil.
- Serve Rajma masala with steamed rice, jeera rice, paratha or chapati. Enjoy this rajma recipe!