Best Punjabi Raajma Masala – Red Kidney Beans Curry Recipe with step by step photos and easy to follow instructions:
Best Punjabi Raajma Masala – Red Kidney Beans Curry is a very popular Punjabi curry dish consists of Red Kidney beans cooked in rich and thick gravy. The secret to thick, rich and creamy gravy lies in the generous amount of onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. I can’t even imagine cooking Raajma without loads of onions and tomatoes. Raajma is a must have dish at any Punjabi Dhaba. A roadside restaurant is called Dhaba in Punjab. If you ever visit Punjab, you must try Raajma at Dhaba.
Raajma makes the best combination with Jeera Chawal (Cumin Rice) but it also goes well with just plain boiled rice. At our home, it is absolutely essential to serve Raajma once a week. It is my son’s one of many favorite dishes. He has no trouble eating Raajma a few times a week as long as there is fresh homemade yogurt on the side. I remember my nephew was visiting us once and I cooked Raajma and served it with rice. I don’t know how much he ate but after he finished his dinner, he came to me with his dinner plate, he could not walk straight. He was uncomfortable because he ate too much. He told me that auntie, I don’t know how you cooked this Raajma, I just can’t stop eating it. I think that was the best compliment from an eight years old kid.
I don’t know how many times I have been asked by other people “How do you make kidney beans taste and smell so good?” Well, let me tell you that all the secrets to tasty and fragrant Raajma are being revealed in this blog.
Raajma tastes good when freshly cooked, but it tastes even better the following day when the gravy gets even thicker and all the flavors had melded. Right now, in my mind, I am drooling over a nice bowl of warm rich Raajma curry and hot Tandoori Roti smothered with butter.
I can’t stress it enough that you must try this recipe at least once, I guarantee you that you will be cooking it every week. It is a healthy and nutritious meal for vegetarians and great meat substitute for meat lovers. How about try this for meatless Monday?
How to make Best Punjabi Raajma Masala – Red Kidney Beans Curry:
- Prepare all the ingredients beforehand. Wash the Raajma (Red Kidney Beans) thoroughly under running water. Sometimes, there are some dirt or sand particles in the Raajma. There are three ways to prepare Raajma before adding it to the curry:
- Wash and soak Raajma overnight or for at least 4 hours. Using the same water, add salt and bring Raajma to boil over high heat. Once started to fully boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer until beans are soft. While Raajma are cooking, check the quantity of water from time to time. It should not dry out completely. Add more water if required.
- Wash the Raajma and add it to the slow cooker. Add water and salt. Turn the slow cooker on high and let it cook. If you are making Raajma for dinner, make sure you turn on the slow cooker in the morning because it will take few hours for the Raajma to cook. My slow cooker takes about 5 hours. Your may take less or more time depending on the manufacturer. If using a slow cooker, you don’t need so soak the Raajma overnight but if you do soak it, then it will take less time to cook in the slow cooker. For me, slow cooker is my best friend. I have a timer for my slow cooker. I don’t soak the Raajma overnight. I just add it to the slow cooker, add salt and water. I set the timer for 5 hours before I leave for work and whola!! by the time I am back from work, Raajma is cooked. All I have to do is prepare the curry sauce and add Raajma to it. Simple and easy!!
- Use canned kidney beans. This is not my personal favorite. I like to do things from scratch whenever possible and like to know exactly what goes into the food that I will be putting on the dinner table for my family. But it’s an option if needed.
- Peel the garlic and ginger and wash it. Wash tomatoes and green chilies. (Have you noticed that I wash everything?) Grind tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies in a blender to a fine paste.
- In a large saucepan, add cooking oil (I use olive oil. That’s my favorite. I just love the smell of olive oil) and add the tomatoes mixture. Add all the spices: cumin, coriander, red chili powder, turmeric and salt to taste (remember we already added some salt to Raajma).
- Add tomato puree. This will give the curry a nice rich deep burgundy color. You can use canned puree if you wish or make your own. I make my own from whole fresh or frozen tomatoes. I pick some fresh tomatoes from the farm in the summer time and freeze them to use during winter season.
- Mix everything well and cook it over medium-high heat until oil starts to separate.
- Add cooked onion puree and mix well. I sometimes add about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) to it. It is completely optional. Let it cook until oil begins to appear on the surface depending on the quantity of oil used. If you reduce the quantity listed in the recipe, you may not see much of oil at the surface, but that’s fine too.
- Now that our masala (curry/gravy) is ready, add cooked Raajma to it and mix well. Let it come to boil, then turn the heat down to medium low. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add more chopped fresh coriander (cilantro). Have a seat and enjoy your creation.
- Serve hot with Rice, Roti or Tandoori Roti
.Best Punjabi Raajma Masala - Red Kidney Beans CurryPrep timeCook timeTotal timeRed Kidney beans slow cooked with tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic and spices is comfort food at its best.Author: Raj BrarRecipe type: Main CourseCuisine: IndianServes: 5 - 6 servingsIngredients
- 2 cups dry Raajma (red kidney beans)
- 1 ¼ tsp salt or to taste
- 3 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
- 6-8 garlic cloves
- 2 green chilies
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- 1 cup tomato purée
- 1 cup cooked onion purée
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted
- Water as required
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- Wash and soak Raajma overnight in 6 cups of water. Using the same water, add salt and cook on medium-low heat until beans become tender; about 45 minutes. Add more water if required. (Alternatively, put dry Raajma in a slow cooker with the same amount of water and salt. Cook on high for 6-7 hours (time may vary depending on the manufacturer of the slow cooker).
- Meanwhile, in a blender, add tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies; and grind it to a fine mixture.
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Carefully add tomato mixture to it. Add cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric and salt. Add canned tomato purée; mix well; cover and cook until oil starts to separate stirring frequently.
- Add onion purée; cover and cook again until oil starts to separate stirring occasionally.
- Add the boiled Raajma to the mixture; mix well. Add more water if required. Let it come to full boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- In a dry pan, add cumin seeds and toast it until color begins to darken and smoke starts to come out. Turn off the heat and add the roasted cumin seeds to Raajma. Close the lid right away to seal the fragrance. Open the lid after 5 minutes and mix the cumin seeds in the Raajma.
- Garnish with fresh chopped coriander.
- Serve hot with Rice, Roti or Tandoori Roti.