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Rajma-Chawal is a combination ‘to-die-for’…the best Rajma (Kidney Beans) and Chawal (Rice) can be had at the obscure dhabbas* alongside the highways all over North India. That is where the truck drivers eat and trust me…that is the second best (ofcourse, right after our recipe!). Now which Punjabi (people from the state of Punjab) household will not admit to it being a comfort food. Try with some Raita or just plain yogurt…

Ingredients:

Kidney Beans – 1 cup
Water – 4 cups
Salt – to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Green Chili – to taste (optional)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Onions – 2 medium, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 tsp, minced
Garlic – 1 tsp, minced
Tomatoes – 2 cups, puree
Salt – to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Chaat Masala – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Cilantro – for garnishing, finely chopped

Method:

1. Wash and soak the Kidney Beans in 4 cups of water overnight.
2. Put the Rajma in a pressure cooker, alongwith the water that you soaked it in.
3. Turn the flame on high and add in the Turmeric Powder, Some Salt and Green Chili.
4. Cooking time in the Pressure Cooker – 3 whistles, lower flame and cook for another 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, in a medium size pan on medium heat, add in the Oil.
6. Allow it to heat up and add in the Onions.
7. Add in a little Salt and cook till the moisture evaporates from the Onions. Stir frequently.
8. Add in the Ginger and Garlic, mix well and cook till the Onions start to brown.
9. Add in the Tomato Puree. Mix again.
10.Cook till the oil starts to seperate. Keep an eye on it and keep stirring frequently.
11.Add in Coriander Powder, Chaat Masala & Garam Masala.
12.Add in a little water (about 1/4 cup) to help mix in the dry spices and to prevent it from burning.
13.Cook for a couple of minutes.
14.Open the Pressure Cooker once the pressure has gone and add in the Rajma to the masala.
15. Make sure Rajma (kidney beans) is well cooked and should have opened up a bit.
16. Mix well and allow it to come to a boil again.
17. Add in some of the fresh Cilantro leaves and keep some for garnishing.
18. Serve over hot rice on a lazy sunday afternoon. Serves 4.

Tips:

Some key points to making it a succesful Rajma experience-
-soak rajma overnight
-every cooker is different, so know your cooker. If it did not cook well, put the lid back on and cook it some more.
-believe it or not altitude makes a difference in cooking time.
-if you wat a smooth curry/gravy, just blend the onions and tomatoes very well (we love texture in the food so…)

*dhabba – no-frills, authentic food joint

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