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.
- 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
- 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.
Raita a yogurt based Inidan condiment is a favorite in our family and so I make it often. With variations like cucumber raita, okra, potato raita , boondi raita etc the possibilities are endless. It is served as side dish along with vegetable rice, pulao, biryani or with rotis/parathas.
This spinach raita is an easy, healthy and a good way to eat your greens. It is a good way to sneak in veggies and feed it to the picky eaters. You can make variations by adding chopped cilantro, pepper powder, grated carrots etc
- 1 cup fresh yogurt – (plain) ( I used fat free yogurt)
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ¼ tsp red chili powder (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups of packed spinach (cleaned and chopped)
- 1″ piece of ginger grated
- 1 green chilli chopped
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 Tbsp oil
- Note: Make sure the plain yogurt (curds) is not sour.
- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and the cumin seeds.
- Add the chopped spinach, ginger, salt and green chilli to it and stir until the spinach is cooked. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Take a bowl and whisk the yogurt, add milk or water to thin it. Add the cooked spinach mixture to this and mix well.
- Add the chopped onion and sprinkle some chilli powder.
- Keep the raita in the fridge if serving at a later time. If left outside it can get sour.
Brinjal is a frequently used vegetable in our house maybe after okra, potato, tindora.Another plus is that it is available in the Indian stores throughout the year and so I cook with it often.
Baingan Masala is one dish I learnt few months ago and I have tried it many times since. There are so many variations of this classic dish; some are prepared with the typical north Indian flavor, others use many spices stuff it in the brinjal and make it the bharwan way. Anyway this is my version of Baingan masala which has a touch of Konkani flavor to it.
Spicy and tangy this curry goes well with rotis/pooris and daal rice. On days when I am pressed for time, I make this curry along with a kachumber (salad) and plain rice. I then heat up store bought rotis, and we eat it along with salad and yogurt rice.
Here are other recipes using brinjal:
- 4-5 medium purple brinjal/eggplant/baingan (similar to these)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 4-5 curry leaves
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 tsp Jaggery for taste (optional)
- Asafetida/hing a pinch
- 1 Tbsp Oil
To make the coconut masala
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (fresh/frozen)
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds/dhaniya
- 1 Tbsp urad daal
- 1 Tbsp tamarind paste
- 3-4 red chillies
- Wash the Baingan/brinjal thoroughly and cut into long strips. Place it in a bowl of water to avoid discoloration.
- Heat a small pan; roast the coriander seeds, urad daal and red chillies in little bit oil until it turns brown.
- Next make the coconut masala, by grinding the coconut along with the roasted red chillies, urad daal, coriander seeds, tamarind, and water. The masala should be slightly coarse, thick so do not add too much water.
- In the meanwhile heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds, let it splutter and then add the curry leaves, hing.
- Add the chopped brinjal/baingan, salt and fry until it turns light brown and is cooked.
- Add the chopped tomatoes
- Add the coconut paste and cook until the raw smell of coconut is gone. Sprinkle some water in between, so that it does not stick to the bottom. Check for taste and adjust the seasonings if required.
- Garnish with shopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or rotis.