My daughter has a fixed food schedule and her teacher is very strict about it. If you fail to stick to the food schedule, not only the student is fined but the parents are also scolded in the parent-teacher meeting. In a way, this is quite good as this helps to develop healthy eating habits among kids. They also don’t have any canteen in the school, so every student has to bring his or her lunch and that too according to prescribed food schedule.
There are days when food is not according to my daughter’s choice. She grumbles but takes the food according to schedule and finishes that too. Her happiest day is Friday when she has rajma rice in her menu. She, in fact, waits for Friday. Even I relish it very much.
Rajma is one such dish that always comes to mind wherever any guest is arriving especially in the vegetarian Punjabi families. This protein rich rajma masala curry, also known as red kidney bean curry, is best enjoyed with steamed rice or can be served with naan or chapati. It is an onion tomato based gravy, the consistency of which could be varied according to your taste. Even in my family, me and the kids like thick gravy whereas my husband likes a very thin gravy.
Rajma are quite nutritious, have high fiber content, rich in folate, copper, manganese, phosphorous, iron, magnesium and vitamin B1. But with the goodness, they also have some problems like they cause gastric trouble, abdominal pain, diarrhoea etc. These problems can be avoided by soaking them overnight or for 6-8 hrs, throwing away the water in which they were soaked and boiling with fresh water. In addition, using ample amount of ginger and garlic while cooking also reduces the vata dosh that is caused by rajma.
Rajma masala is a very easy recipe that can be made with basic spices available in every kitchen. Normally I make light curry but when some guest visits us, then I add cream to the gravy to make it rich and flavorful.
Stepwise pictorial description of rajma masala curry
Thoroughly wash rajma to remove any dirt. Soak them in sufficient water overnight or 6-8 hrs. Drain the water in which rajma was soaked.
Wash rajma and boil in a pressure cooker using fresh water. Initially keep the flame high, when pressure builds up, reduce the flame to low and let them cook for 10-15 minutes.
In the meanwhile, prepare the masala. First of all, grind onions to a paste. Puree tomatoes.
Take 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and coriander seeds.
When they start sizzling, add onion paste and saute until onion gets cooked.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute for 1-2 minutes.
Next add tomato puree containing green chillies as well and cook for another few minutes.
Add coriander powder, paprika powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt.
Saute for 1-2 minutes.
Add fresh cream or malai ( this is purely optional) and mix well.
Put 1 tsp of kasuri methi and saute until masala starts leaving pan.
Add boiled rajma and 1 cup of water. Let it simmer on low flame for 10-15 minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice, zeera rice, naan, parantha or chapati.