The Humble Rajma-Chaawal
I was introduced to Rajma-Chaawal by one of my good friends Chaaru,a Punjabi who was newly married and had relocated to Chennai. We became friends and then she migrated to Australia. We have since lost touch. She was a fantastic cook and made the best Rajma Chaawal for me. For years, I wanted to taste this comfort food through an authentic hand. This was when Yash came along. Rajma is kidney beans and CHaawal is Hindi for rice. It is served piping hot and is simply delicious!
Pink kidney beans 1 1/2 cups
Finely chopped onions 1 cup
Finely chopped tomatoes 1 cup
Finely chopped ginger 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder 1-2 tsps
Garam masala 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Salt to taste
Water 1 cup
Cooking oil 1 tbsp
1. Soak the kidney beans overnight in warm water. Rinse and add a little water to cover it and pressure cook to 7-8 whistles as required.
2. In a wok, heat oil and splutter cumin seeds and ginger.
3. Add onions and saute until it is a light transparent pink. It gives out an unbelievable aroma at this stage of caramelization.
4. Add the tomatoes and saute on slow fire.
5. Add the spices and saute until the spices are cooked.
6. Add water and keep stirring until the gravy cooks and thickens.
7. Add the rajma and saute for 10 minutes.
Remove from the stove and serve over hot steaming rice drizzled with a dash of desi butter.