Kidney beans in the Indian cuisine are popularly known as Rajma. These unique beans are shaped like a kidney, has a strong nutty flavor with powdery texture and have a reddish brown color.
Rajma is very popular in the Northern Indian cuisine. It goes extremely well with plain Basmati rice or what is popularly known as rajma chawal. Rajma beans are fully loaded with proteins, in addition to minerals like magnesium, molybdenum, potassium, sodium, copper, iron, phosphorous, and vitamins such as Vitamin B complex constituents, Vitamin K and other traces of essential vitamins.
In Indian market there are three types of rajma:
Jammu Rajma or Kashmiri kidney beans refers to a type of kidney beans which hv originated from Jammu and Kashmir region. They are as famous as Kashmiri mirchi (chilli powder). These small red kidney beans are delicious and cook fast. These beans are famous all over Himalayas and it’s foothills for their aroma and subtle taste. Kashmiri rajma come out best when soaked for about 4-5 hours prior to cooking. They may look deceptively similar to the regular kidney beans but in fact they are a notch smaller (see pic below). It is said that some of the best rajma are said to hv grown in Jammu.
I usually cook regular Rajma curry on an occasional basis. But I was introduced to Jammu Rajma by a close friend NK who happened to bring this delicious curry for a potluck lunch at my place in December. She had apparently slow cooked it overnight which explained its ultimate heavenly taste! I refrigerated and enjoyed it for two days after the lunch gathering! Little did i know that there was a another type of kidney beans called Jammu kidney beans!! I was able to source for it locally in Singapore through our regular online grocery store Redmart, but life got in the way and I only got to today Feb 12th to cook and post the recipe here. Don't be alarmed by the number of ingredients. It is actually quite an easy dish to prepare and the final delicious taste definitely beats store bought rajma masala powders. You are sure to wow your family and friends!
Ingredients (serves 4- 8 people)
Jammu Rajma Beans Preparation
2 cups of Jammu rajma beans, washed and soaked overnight or a minimum of 4hrs
4 dried bay leaves
4 stalks of coriander leaves with roots intact, washed well
8 black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
Pound or dry grind the above till you get a smooth powder
1 bay leave
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
4 medium onion, cut into big pieces and blended
4 medium tomatoes, cut into big pieces and blended
2 tsps ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies each cut into 3 pieces
1 stalk coriander leaves, chop small
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsps coriander powder
1/2 tsp asoefetida powder
Pour half cupwater in a small bowl and mix the above spices into a smooth paste
Canola Oil & Salt
1) Wash and soak the rajma beans overnight. The next day, bruise the coriander leaves with roots slightly. Using a pressure cooker, boil the rajma beans in water with salt, 4 bayleaves and the bruised coriander leaves for 10 mins. Set aside to cool. Do not throw the boiled water away - its the stock of the beans and is full of flavour. You may need it to dilute the curry later.
2) Heat a medium cooking pot and heat 3 tbsps of oil. Fry the pounded/ground dry spices together with cinnamom stick and a bay leaf. Then add the blended onion and fry for 5 - 10 mins on medium heat.
3) Then add the 2 tsps of ginger garlic paste and fry for another 5 mins.
4) Next, add in the blended tomato and the masala powder paste. Add salt at this juncture.
5) Cover and simmer for 10 minutes
6) Next, pour the rajma beans without the stock and chcek if its thin enough. If its not, add some of the stock water.
7) Cover and simmer for another 10 mins.
8) Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves and sliced green chilli.
Hi guys! I'm Nilofar Iyer and I have shared my dishes here for you to cook for your own family and friends with love and most importantly with their long term good health in mind.