For me the key to good Rajma is cooking the beans perfect which I've now mastered thanks to my MIL. Like most North Indian recipes you see on this space this one is passed on to me by her. This also being my Hubby's favorite recipe & now mine too its our preferred weekend lunch/brunch.
1 cup of red kidney beans
1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp green chilli paste (or to taste)
1 cup of tomato puree OR 3-4 heaped tbsp tomato paste
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 tbsp dry Fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1/2 cup of cream
salt to taste
1-2 tbsp oil for cooking
Few coriander leaves for garnishing
1/4 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1 tbsp of coriander powder
1 tsp cumin seeds powder
1 tsp dry mango powder
1 tsp garam masala (or to taste)
Soak the Rajma overnight (or for 8 hrs) then drain. To cook Rajma, in a pressure cooker add the soaked & drained rajma & to it add salt, black cardamom & 4-5 cups of water. On high cook till 4-5 whistles & then reduce to low. Cook on low for 30-45 mins. Switch of the gas & wait for the steam to go away completely before trying to open the pressure cooker lid. Rajma cooked this way comes out really soft.
In a vessel, heat oil on medium flame & once hot add bay leaves & cumin seeds, when the seeds crackle add the asafoetida & onion & saute till onions turn translucent. Then add the ginger, green chilli & garlic paste. Saute till the garlic smell disappears.
Now add the tomato paste/puree & mix followed by all ingredients listed under "Masala". Mix well. Add very little water if you are finding difficulty in mixing. Cook for 2 mins or till you see some oil oozing out from the sides. That's the indication that our masala paste is ready.
By this time, the steam from the pressure cooker should have subsided. Open the lid & drain the Rajma, don't throw the liquid in which you boiled the Rajma since we will be using it to adjust the curry consistency. Now add the Rajma to the masala paste & keep adding 1 cup of that boiled Rajma liquid till you get the consistency you are looking for. Increase the flame to medium & bring this mixture to a boil & then simmer on low. Using your mixing spoon, gentle press some of the rajma so that its mashed. this will help giving some thickness & smoothness to the gravy. Crush some dry Fenugreek leaves between your palms & then add to the Rajma masala & mix. Final touch, add cream & mix. Simmer for 10 mins.
That's it our Rajma Masala - Red Kidney Beans Curry is ready. Serve it hot with Rice & Salad.