Simple Rajma Curry

Rajma is a popular North Indian vegetarian dish consisting of red kidney beans in thick gravy. They are cooked along with onions and tomatoes in array of aromatic spices.  Served along with rice (Rajma Chawal) or roti it is touted as a favorite comfort food. 

I have posted one version of Rajma before; now this one is rich as it has paneer/ cashew paste in it and is comparatively complicated. So this is something which I won’t make it on a weeknight.   I taste is awesome though and I reserve it for special days or on days when we have guests at home. 

This version is however a simple home style Rajma curry that can be put together quickly even on week nights. The recipe inspiration for this came from my colleague when she had brought Rajma Roti for lunch. What impressed me was the fact that there was no overwhelming usage of spices, but just tomato onion gravy, laden with lots of ginger garlic giving it a warm appealing taste. Let us just say to maintain some civility I had to use all my will power to stop myself from finishing off her lunch box. 🙂 

Note: There are three different types of kidney beans; I use the dark red smaller variety. They are easy to handle and cook much faster.

Serves: 3-4 

Ingredients:

   

 

  • 1 cup Red Kidney beans/ Rajma  [ I use the small variety]
  • 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 2-3 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp ginger + garlic paste
  • 2-3 green chillies slit
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp dhaniya powder/ coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp butter (optional)
  • Coriander leaves for garnish 

Method: 

  • Wash and soak rajma for at least for 6-8 hours. (Kidney beans will get double in size after soaking).
  • Pressure cook the soaked rajma in about 3 cups of water until rajma it is soft (but still retains its shape). Do not drain the stock as it can be used for the gravy.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till it is cooked.
  • Then add the chopped onions, green chillies and sauté it till the onions turns to golden brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes for a minute then add the cumin powder, garam masala powder, chilli powder (optional) and coriander powder and sauté it till tomatoes become soft.
  • Add the boiled water to this. Then add the boiled rajma to this along with salt. If needed add more water to this.
  • Cover it with lid and let it simmer it for 20 minutes stirring in between.
  • Garnish it with few chopped coriander leaves and serve with hot rice or rotis/chapathis.

No Bake Energy Balls

When I stumbled onto the No Bake healthy energy balls, I knew I had to try them. There are many reasons why I love this simple yet healthy recipe. For starters, there is no baking, microwaving, or any stove top cooking involved; it is as easy as mixing up the ingredients and transferring them to the refrigerator. And then it uses up all natural ingredients and there is no sugar, butter or oil involved. It is all healthy ingredients rolled into the goodness of a ball.

 I had a big stash of flaxseeds and ground flax seeds meal in my pantry waiting to be used and this was a good way for using it up. I personally loved the addition of toasted coconut in this, but not so much with the chocolate chips. The next time I make this, I will surely substitute the chocolate chips with toasted walnuts or pecans. 

Below the recipe instructions you will see some substitution ideas and you can use your creativity and add your own favorite ingredients. 

These taste like store bought energy bars and oh so delicious. Be forewarned that these balls are highly addictive. 🙂

Recipe Adapted from: No bake energy bites 

Makes: About 15-18 medium balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup coconut flakes (toasted)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed/ flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional) [I would prefer toasted walnuts or pecans]
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:

  • Place the oats in a plate and lightly toast the oats in a microwave for about a minute. (This is optional as the original recipe did not call for this). Set aside.
  • Place the coconut flakes in a plate and toast it in the microwave. (Pay attention as it brown pretty fast).
  • Now gather all the measured ingredients and put them one by one in a big bowl.

  • Stir it carefully until it is completely mixed. Cover with lid.
  • Place it in the refrigerator and let it chill for the next 30-40 minutes.
  • After it is chilled, take out handful of the mixture and roll them out in shape of balls, pressing tightly in between.
  • Store them refrigerated in air tight container.

Substitution Ideas:

  • Substitute quick cooking oats instead of the old fashioned oats.
  • Add almond butter instead of peanut butter. Skip the coconut if needed.
  • Add chopped dried fruit like cranberries, apricots, raisins, etc.
  • Add chopped toasted pecans, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds

Easy Chickpeas Salad


Off late we have been experiencing moderate weather unlike the scorching heat we get during this time of the year. It does not mean that we are completely out of the woods yet, there are some spikes and we still have days on which the temperature climbs over the 100F. On such days, I don’t feel like staying in the kitchen more that I have to and I resort to quick and easy salads of this type for lunch/dinner. 

With good amount of protein and fiber this salad is a winner. I love the colorful and healthy combination of beans and veggies. Onion and pepper add good crunch and complement the soft garbanzo. The tomatoes and cheese add the right amount of sweet and tanginess making it very flavorful. 

This salad is pretty versatile, so you can add any veggies or fruits to cater to your taste. You can add cucumbers, chopped celery, grated carrots, apple, pomegranate etc. 

 Apart from this method, I sometimes give this salad an Indian twist. I sprinkle some chaat masala alogng with red tamarind chutney and green chutney (instead of lemon and cheese). Let me warn you the taste is pretty addictive that you will not believe that you are actually eating a salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chick peas/garbanzo (rinsed and drained )
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup red pepper chopped (optional)
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
  • 1 tomato (seeded and chopped )
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp feta cheese
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice/vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp Pepper powder /crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp oil

 

Method:

  • If using canned chickpeas then drain the liquid and rinse the beans. Drain water completely.
  • Else you can soak the chickpeas overnight and pressure cook the next day. Drain the cooked liquid (or use it for something else) and use only the cooked beans.
  • In a big bowl add the veggies first and toss it gently. Add the chickpeas, cilantro and combine them.
  • Add salt, lemon juice, pepper powder and stir well.
  • Let it sit aside for an hour or so, so that veggies soak up all the goodness. Sprinkle the cheese before serving.

 

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