Nov 10, 2009



I am a great fan of North Indian dishes. My first ever introduction to north Indian food was the naan and palak paneer combo thanks to my sister who was at that time staying in Rajkot, Gujarat and I have never stopped since then. And it still remains my most fave north Indian food. Sadly, I don’t find good quality north Indian food at many hotels. Sadly they are too spicy and overloaded with oil taking away the actually flvour of the palak and tha paneer. Worst still colour is added in many hotels and you aren’t sure if it is approved food colour or not. So I’d rather cook these dishes at home rather than eat out. Atleast you know what s going into it. The sad thing though with some north Indian dishes is that the process is elaborate and time consuming with so many pastes that have to be made like onion paste ginger garlic paste etc (if you want it to taste fresh i.e. :P. I don’t use packed pastes for ginger garlic n stuff)

The other day I had decided to make Rajmah and jeera rice combo. My husband does really love it :D. and when I was pondering how to make it more quickly and then I decided to make a paste of all the masalas together though I wasn’t really sure how it would taste. Now that I have made it and it didn’t really taste that bad after all… (ahem!!trying to be a bit did really taste good) I decided to put the recipe into the blog.

This is how I made it: (to serve 2 people approximately)

Rajmah (kidney beans) : 1 cup

Soak the kidney beans overnight in water if you are making it for lunch or soak them for the whole day if you are making it for the dinner.

To be made into a paste:

Onions : 2 medium sized cut into cubes
Chillies : 3-4 or according to taste
Garlic pods : 6-7
Ginger : 1’ piece
Dhania/coriander seeds: 1 tsp
Jeera/cumin seeds : 1 tsp
Turmeric : ½ tsp
Salt : according to taste
Rajmah masala : 2 tbsp (or as mentioned on the packaging)
(chilli powder can also be added for colour and flavor according to requirement if you like the dish hot)
Coriander leaves few.

Other ingredients:

Tomatoes : 2 medium sized
Bay leaf : 1(optional)
Cinnamon stick : 1 inch piece(optional)
Cloves : 2-3(optional)
Pepper : 2-3(optional)

Pressure cook the rajmah and set aside. Do not drain the water. Keep it aside for later use as gravy.
Make a paste of the ingredients to be made into a paste and set aside.
Blanch the tomatoes. This means add the tomatoes to boiling water for a minute and remove them. Now run them under cold water to stop the cooking . this process is called blanching. Now puree/ grind the tomatoes in a mixie and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a kadhai. Add the masala ingredients i.e., bayleaf, cinnamon stick, loves and pepper to the hot oil and let them fry till an aroma emanates.( You can remove the masalas one you are sure that they are fried if you are not too comfortable will the smell of strong masalas at this point or retain them in the oil as per your choice).
Add the ground masala paste to the oil. Keep stirring for a minute. You would find the raw smell of the masala disappearing and the masala leaving oil from the sides.
Add this stage add the tomato puree. Keep stirring until you get a fragnant smell from the masalas.
Add rajmah masala and stir for one more minute
Add the rajmah minus the water at this stage and allow it to fry along with the masalas stirring continuously.
Now add the water and let it cook for some more time. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Just before removing from the stove, add the coriander leaves for decoration.

Rajmah is best served with jeera rice. It can also be had with chapattis or phulkas.

You can also top off the dish with butter for extra taste.

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