North Indian Rajma Recipe
North Indian Rajma (Red Kidney Beans)
This recipe is a staple in Northern India and is best prepared by hand to get the best flavours from your spices. You can substitute pre made spices if you don’t have a mortar and pestle or grinder. Most spices can be found in your regular grocery or specialty health food store and definitely in any Indian grocer. An Indian grocer will even have pre made Rajma spice mixes which are handy to have if you’re short on time.
1 cup dried Red Kidney Beans (Rajma)- washed and soaked at least 6hrs (beans will double once soaked), then cooked until soft but holds shape (or 2 cans of organic red kidney beans- rinsed)
*Fun Fact: Beans, unlike veggies, do not lose any of their nutritional value when canned, so they are just as healthy as dried! Just make sure there are no extra additives like salt and that the cans are BPA free.
1/2 tsp. Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp. Asafoetida (Hing)
2 Green Chillies & 1in. Fresh Ginger- made into a paste
1 tsp. Red Chilli Powder
3 Large Tomatoes- puréed until smooth (can substitute canned tomato purée)
2 tbsp Oil
2 cups Water
Salt to taste
To make your own fresh Garam Masala spice powder:
Seeds from 4 Black Cardamom Pods
1/4in. Cinnamon Stick
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper Corns
3/4 tbsp. Coriander Seeds
Dry roast all spices together in a pan for 3min. Grind with mortar and pestle or in grinder until you have a fine powder.
To make the Rajma:
Heat oil in a pot that will hold all ingredients until hot. Fry Cumin Seeds until they turn a few shades darker brown but be careful not to burn them. Add Asafoetida and Chilli/Ginger Paste and fry until fragrant.
Add Tomato Purée and cook mixture on med/low heat until oil starts to rise to the top then add Red Chilli Powder
Set aside 1/4 cup of prepared kidney beans and add the rest of the beans to the tomato/spice mixture with the 2 cups of water and the Garam Masala powder and Salt to taste. Cook on med/low for 15min.
Mash the set aside beans into a paste and add to the cooking beans to create a thicker gravy. Continue to cook, reducing, until desired thickness is achieved.
Serve with rice and a side of steamed or sautéed greens.