Best Occasion to Prepare this Recipe
Rajma – Chawal, Chawal – Rajma.. They’ve been the evergreen couple of North Indian Pakwaan. Why? A -They pair as good as Biryani and Salan B – Rice and Beans make up a complete protein for Vegetarians C – Let’s face it- we all have that little Punjabi in us that loves to indulge in Butter enriched delicacies, lol. Now.. why don’t YOU try this combo for today’s meal and let me know if it made your day?
This classic comfort food is certainly one of the golden 20 minute recipes, especially if you have already done your groundwork of soaking in the Kidney Beans overnight. Although it has just about 3-4 main ingredients, there are some basic variations in the way Chefs from all over India prepare the recipe, all of which are covered within this page.
PS: Rajma pairs best with plain buttered Rice or variations like Jeera Rice and Pulao. They also taste great with Breads like Phulka, Roti, Chapathi, Naan and Paratha.
My Top Recipe Recommendations
Creamy Punjabi Rajma Masala
- Anyone can cook with me’s Punjabi Rajma Masala
- Pickometer Score 4.5/5.0 Love this recipe’s creamy-saucy texture, color and consistency. I particularly enjoy my gravies to run smooth since I grew up tasting Rajma Masala that didnt have onions and tomatoes in their form (non-blended). Indian Vegetarians can skip adding the Meat Masala
Punjabi Rajma Masala – Dhaba Style
The key to preparation of these two recipes is not blending the tomatoes or onions
- Vah Reh Vah Chef’s Rajma Masala
- Pickometer Score 4.4/5.0 Check out the order in which he’s added in the ingredients- certainly makes a lot of difference!
- Hebbar’s Kitchen’s Rajma Masala
- Pickometer Score 4.4/5.0 Very Dhaba like taste from the underlying simplicity of the recipe. Do try this recipe with Rajma Masala (available in stores near you) and let me know how that turns out!
Ma’s Recipe Rajma Masala
- Sanjeev Kapoor’s Punjabi Rajma Masala
- Pickometer Score 4.4/5.0 The reason I call this Ma’s Recipe is ’cause.. you got it right.. one time or the other our moms have referred to this recipe that has tasted like Bliss. He blends the tomatoes into Puree while leaving the cooked onions in form
My Improv & Notes
I am a fan of all the above recipes and improvise based on the variation that I’d like to taste on a certain day. Here are some generic take-aways before you start cooking!
- Soak Rajma/Kidney Beans overnight for it to swell to the size that you see in the recipes. A minimum of 6-8 hour soak time is needed. To avoid flatulence later ensure that it’s cooked well. Give it 4-5 whistles in pressure cooker. Test to see if Rajma breaks in half when touched. That’s about the right consistency you want!
- As an alternative, you can also go with the canned Mexican Kidney Beans. Please ensure to drain the liquid it comes with and run it under tap water before using them to wash off preservatives
- If you went with the home cooked method- Do NOT drain the water you used to cook Rajma. Add tomato onion gravy on top of it (try to use ripe fresh tomatoes here). Rajma water is full of nutrients and is also a key taste maker! This also increases the quantity of the creamy gravy
- Use Red Chili powder in place of green chilis for better color and taste
- Replace Garam Masala in the recipe with Rajma Masala and let me know! Add the masala powder in the END and let it cook for 5-7 minutes – this will enrich the taste of the gravy
- Garnish and serve with chopped onions, thin slices of ginger, coriander and cut lemon if having with Roties (or any Indian Bread)
- Oh and don’t forget that slice of Butter- it’s the cherry on the top!