Rajma curry is a common dish for most Indians, but in many parts of the world it is eaten dry. This is my curry recipe which my friends like, and it is Vegan.
- 2 cups Rajma soaked overnight
- 2 onions – chopped
- 2 – 3 tomatoes – peeled and chopped
- Ginger 1 inch finely chopped
- Garlic 2 – 3 pods finely chopped
- Green Chilli 1 – 2 chopped
- Coriander finely chopped
- Oil 2 tablespoons (can add more)
- Garam Masala – 1 tea spoon (can add more)
- Cumin – 1 tea spoon
- Turmeric – 2 tea spoon (more may be required later)
- Red Chilli powder – 1 tea spoon
- Bay leaf 2
- Salt to taste
Soak rajma overnight, then remove the water and place the rajma in a pressure cooker. Add water to cover the rajma and also add turmeric and bay leaves. Cook for about 20 minutes. You will find the aroma spreading all over the house! I use futura cooker which has a rhythmic weight and when it catches a steady rhythm, I reduce the flame and let it cook for 20 – 30 minutes. The rajma should be nice and soft but still retain its texture. Once cooked, set the rajma aside.
Now heat oil in a large deep pan. Add cumin seeds when hot, followed in sequence with ginger and garlic. Sauté for about 30 seconds. Then add the onions and simmer and let cook. When the onions are golden brownish, add the tomatoes. Mix, and keep cooking. This can take a few minutes but sauté every now and again else the masala could burn. Keep flame medium throughout. When the tomatoes and onions are well blended and soft, add all the other dry ingredients mentioned above. Mix well. (You can add more turmeric at this stage, if you wish to. Again cover and let cook for a bit. These stages are important as rajma turns out best when the masala mix is perfectly cooked. Now, using a strainer (like the one we use for puri) add the rajma to this mixture slowly. Don’t add the water it was cooked in just yet. Add only the rajma. After adding the rajma, mix well, using a spatula and mash a few of the beans as you mix. This adds to the gravy and you get a nice creaminess in taste. If the beans had been cooked well as required, this should be easy. If this is looking dry, it’s all right to add a bit of water. But don’t let the dish burn. Now slowly add water, making sure that the gravy is not too runny. You can use the water it was cooked in or just use fresh water (there are many contradictory theories about whether the water in which it was cooked should be used or not). I use a bit of both! Now, add salt and cook for some time on low flame. You may add additional dry masala and chilli powder at this stage, as per your taste. Once the rajma looks well combined with the gravy, turn off the flame and let this sit for some time. It is best to prepare this dish early and give it a few hours to absorb all the flavours. Serve and enjoy!
Ms Aditi Pathak is based in Singapore. Widely travelled and from a Services background, cooking is one of her many passions.