This dish has never failed to take me to my special place, when I was spending some time in North India, and this was included in the staple diet that side. Of course, the local Rajma (Red Kidney Beans) were that much better in quality, too. Post my return to Mumbai, I had to keep trying to get this recipe right. My Mom makes an amazing Rajma Gravy herself, but this is just different. After a long, long quest, I had to turn to the Master Chef himself, Sanjeev Kapoor, and the first spoonful itself took me back in time, when I used to have Piping hot Rajma with Steaming hot Chawal (rice) and the world was a happy place. It's a must try, you people!
Recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor - Khana Khazana
1.5 cups of Soaked Red Kidney Beans (You can used Canned beans too, no need to pressure cook them)
A couple of Bay Leaves
2 medium Onions, finely chopped
An inch of Ginger, julienne
6 cloves of Garlic, minced
3 medium Tomatoes, blended into a purée
1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
2 Teaspoons Red Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 Tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
Salt, to taste
Note - If using canned beans, you will also need 4.5 cups of Water.
Pressure cook the Rajma in 5 cups of water, with some salt, till it is soft and tender. It should be easily mashed with the back of a spoon. Set aside. Do not discard the water. For those of you using Canned Beans, skip this step. Just rinse your Kidney Beans in Water and set aside.
Heat up about 2-3 tablespoons of Oil in a deep pan. Once it is hot, add in the Bay leaves, let it sizzle for 10 seconds, then add in the Onions, Ginger and Garlic. Sauté until Onions turn Golden Brown. Add in the Tomatoes and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Then add in the Coriander,Cumin,Red Chili and Turmeric Powders. Mix well and cook till Oil separates from the mixture. Now add in the kidney beans along with the Water. Mix well, add Salt to taste and Garam Masala Powder. Simmer for 30 minutes, and garnish with Cilantro/Coriander leaves. Enjoy with hot steaming plain rice!!