Tuesday, March 26, 2013



 The wedding we attended in Bangalore had many distinctive Punjabi features. There was a Mehndi  ( Henna) ceremony and men and women danced the bangra with abandon. Is the bride or bridegroom from those parts, we wondered. Actually they weren't. In fact the girl had not been beyond Chennai in all her life, but this was one of the many trends we see in modern India. Like social customs, we are more open now to embrace different kinds of cuisine and the Rajma curry, once associated with the Punjab is today available, as that old cliche goes, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Likewise I would imagine idli, dosa are now a common dishes all over the country.

While we are more accustomed to South Indian cooking and invariably have sambar or rasam or one of our Konkani specialties, dhalitoi, from time to time we do indulge ourselves with dishes from North India. Today, I would like to present a favorite in my family: Rajma Curry.

  • Rajma ( Red Kidney Beans) 1 1/2 cups  : to be soaked overnight
  • Channa Dal ( Split gram ) 1 tbsp : to be soaked overnight
  • Onions 2
  • Garlic 6-8 flakes
  • Ginger 1" piece
  • Oil 3-4 tbsp
  • Tej Patta ( Bay Leaf) 1
  • Cloves 2
  • Black Cardamom 1
  • Tomatoes 3 - pureed
  • Curd 1/2 cup, beaten well
  • Haldi 1/4 tsp
  • Dhania powder 3 tsp
  • Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
  • Amchoor (dry mango powder)  1/4 tsp
  • Chilli powder 1-2 tsp
  • Coriander 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Salt, to taste

Cook rajma and channa dal together in a pressure cooker and keep aside
Grind onion, ginger and garlic to a paste
Heat the oil in a kadhai. Add tej patta, black cardamom, and cloves
After 1 minute, add onion paste and stir fry till golden brown
On low flame, add haldi, dhania powder, amchoor, garam masala, and red chilli powder. Stir this then add pureed tomatoes and cook till the oil separates
Add beaten curds and continue to stir on low flame till the masala turns red
Add the cooked rajma after straining the water
Add salt to taste
Stir fry on low flame for about 3 minutes
Add the water of the rajma and cook on low flame to the required consistency
Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and onion rings
Serve hot with rice or rotis.

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