Rajma

D tells me that I’ve been doing my food blogging wrong; in particular, I’m meant to have photos of everything.  I hope never to be the sort of person who feels it necessary to leave a restaurant in order to go home and get my camera to photo-document my meals, but I think D does have a point, so here is a first experiment with the medium.

This is essentially the recipe we use when we cook rajma (kidney beans).  This is D’s favorite dish, and I believe her mother still cooks it every time D visits her parents.  As with all dishes that originate with D’s mother, all quantities should be taken as approximate or to taste.  The basic principles involved are similar to that of chole, though the spicing here is simpler. 

  • Wash 3-4 cups kidney beans.  Pressure cook until they are soft but not mushy.  If you’re not using a pressure cooker, boil covered until the beans reach the desired state, which takes a long time.
  • To make the masala, take one large onion, 3-4 cloves of garlic and 2.5 or 3 inches of ginger and blend to a paste.
  • In a pot, put enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom (1/4 cup at most) and add 1-2 teaspoons cumin seeds.  When this begins to crackle, add the onion mix and brown lightly.
  • Add 1 teaspoon turmeric and salt and ground red pepper to taste.  Add 4 tomatoes, chopped or blended, and 1 small can tomato sauce.  Cook over medium heat until the oil begins to separate, then add the beans with the water they cooked in.
  • Add coriander to taste and cook 10-15 minutes, or until it is the desired texture (not too thick).  Serve over rice.  Garnish with coriander.
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