Giving in to my Rajma calling
Its been a week since work started and I have yet to wholeheartedly fall into the new schedule and routine of things. I have to now cook my lunch for work an evening in advance, to avoid a maddening rush the next morning. So I have resorted to the few 1-2 dish meals I know, basically combining rice or rotis with a curry of some sort, or dal or gravy. A lazy Sunday demanded that I make something utterly simple, something that involved throwing together a bunch of things, but with a yummy result. Thats how we decided rajma it would be.
I have tried several different versions of rajma, based on recipes Iv found online and some techniques people have recommended. But Iv finally hit upon this method, after much trial and error, and this works best for me. Most recipes I have seen call for the rajma to be pressure cooked separately and then added to the masala and cooked together. But I have taken a short cut of sorts, which funnily enough, I have found to be much tastier. I love how it turns out, and I love the process because its basically a 3 step easy-peasy way of doing it. Mince/grind, roast, pressure cook. Done. Just what I needed today.
Here's what I use:
1 and 1/2 small cups rajma (for 2 people)
3 small onions
4 small tomatoes
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 green chillies
A handful of fresh coriander
Here's how I make it:
Wash and soak the rajma in sufficient water for at least 4-5 hours prior to cooking it. I usually leave it soaking overnight, but today I soaked it in the morning and cooked it in the evening. I doubt it really makes a life changing difference.
When ready to cook, peel and roughly chop the onions. Also chop the tomatoes into smallish cubes.
Grind the onions to a paste along with the green chillies, ginger, garlic and coriander.
In a pressure cooker/pan, heat a bit of oil and ghee, and roast the masala (paste) on a medium flame until its semi cooked and has dried up sufficiently. Add in the turmeric, chilli powder and chopped tomatoes, and continue to mix and cook well on a medium flame. Keep this going till the masala has fully cooked, the tomatoes are almost pulpy and the masala begins to release oil.
Next, drain the soaked rajma and add it in to the masala.
Mix well, add sufficient water and shut the pressure cooker/pan. On a high flame, cook for an appropriate number of whistles, till the rajma is soft.
Make yourself a cup of chai and kick back and relax while the pressure cooker does its thing and fills your kitchen, your senses and your head with the amazing aromas of what lies within. But you'll have to waitforitttt!
This tastes equally good with rotis and with hot rice, along with a simple onion and tomato salad, drenched in lime, salt, a dash of pepper and coriander!