Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rajma Masala

Palampur is a small hilly town located in Himachal Pradesh, India. The lush tea gardens, tall pine trees and the majestic Dhauladhar mountains make a picture perfect setting. We stayed in a lovely hotel; the tourist season had yet to begin and we were one of just two couples in the hotel. As a result, we were told that instead of the regular a la carte menu, meals would need to be ordered a few hours in advance.


It is not a place where we wanted to just put our feet up, look at the scenery and relax - the lure of the mountains was such. One day, we went off for a small trek in the mountains very early in the morning and it was only as we were coming down that it dawned upon us that we hadn't informed the hotel what we would have for lunch. Tired as we were, we resigned ourselves to walking to town to have some lunch.


Imagine our delight, therefore, when we returned to the hotel and realised that a delicious lunch of piping hot rajma chawal was waiting for us!



Though rajma has rarely been made in our respective homes, both Terradaze and I absolutely love rajma chawal. When it comes to comfort food, this is what we really crave. Here's how we love our rajma..hope you like it too!

Rajma Masala


Ingredients:


Rajma - 4 fistfuls, soaked 6-8 hours
Onion - 1, grated
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp each
Whole garam masala: Cinnamon - 1"stick; Star anise, Black cardamom - 1 each; Cloves - 6;
Bay leaf - 1

Tomatoes - 2, ground to a puree
Yogurt - 2 tbsps
Dry masalas: Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp, Rajma Masala - 1 1/2 tsp, Amchur powder - 1/2 tsp,
Coriander seed powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves, chopped - 1 tbsp



Method:


Pressure cook the rajma alongwith the grated onions, ginger garlic paste, some salt and the whole garam masala till soft and properly cooked. It normally takes me about 6 whistles on low fire. Once cooked, discard the whole garam masala. Also, mash a tbsp of the cooked rajma, this will make the gravy thick.


Heat oil in a wok and add the tomato puree. Cook till the puree turns completely dry and oil separates. Next, mix all the dry masalas with the yogurt and add it to the tomato puree; stir till the masala turns bright red and oil separates.


Strain and add the cooked rajma (reserve the water) and stir for about 5 minutes. Add the reserved water and another 1/2 cup of plain water and bring to a fierce boil on high flame. Then turn the flame down and simmer till it reaches your desired consistency. Add the coriander leaves, sugar (adjust the seasoning and the masalas as per your taste, if needed) and simmer for about 10 mins on very low flame.


Turn off the heat and let the curry stand for about 15 - 20 mins before serving with steaming hot rice.


This is off to WYF: Side Dish hosted by Easy Crafts.

23 comments:

  1. Very different recipe and it looks dam delicious!

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  2. Rajma masala, my all time favourite, yours looks amazing:!

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  3. Looking great AD..Healthy post..

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  4. Did I mention that your blog name served with love brings smiles to me when I see an item in my reader :) mmm Rajma looks great... After a tiring trek in the mountains if you get something to eat will make one comfortable, I cant imagine how good it would have been with Rajma and Rice, felt like being on heaven???

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  5. Rajma masala looks yummy....would taste awesome with rice

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  6. Rajma, looks so good. I bet the food tasted doubly delicious after the trek in the mountains.

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  7. Palampur sounds like a beautiful place. Rajma looks delish, book marked! :)

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  8. Rajma is my fav too dear..looks real yummy and healthy..thanks for sharing..

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  9. delicious rajma. love the color of it. perfect.

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  10. wow..yummmmmmm...what a great dish u have made aqua..:)

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  11. Rajma masala looks sooo yumm and great! Nice click too! :)

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  12. My fav spots are hill stations..I could imagine how b'ful Palampur is..Rajma n chawal is my all time fav..In chilly weather, having piping hot rice and rajma curry is like heaven!

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  13. beautiful desc of Palampur and I wish to visit it one day!
    and Rajma chaval is one of the best comfort foods IMHO :)

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  14. dear aquadaze, this is my first visit to your blog and I LOVED it!
    do you know, I cannot cook to save my life, but I am a total foodie… so I love cookery blogs
    I just like looking at the pictures and reading the description and imagining the taste. Pathetic, aren't i?
    so I'll keep coming back to salivate :)
    take care. Do visit and tell me if you like my blog :)

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  15. Looks yummilicious! Will try this version..

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  16. Hi dear, I have shared an award with you in my blog.. Pls accept it :)

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  17. Aquadaze and Terradaze? :)

    I love the look of your rajma... shall try soon.

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  18. hey, thank you all so much!

    and a small tidbit for all those who want to see palampur, apparently parts fo the movie Jo Jeta Wahi Sikander were shot there.

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  19. I guess Palampur is not that very popular--hoping it was much more peaceful and unpolluted as compared to the popular hill stations..the rajma masala looks very good and even I enjoy rajma..thanks for participating

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  20. Oh yeah, I can imagine how delightful that must have been.

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  21. thanks for liking the sandakphu pictures. they made me want to go trekking myself(this is saying something, as i am a very very lazy person...)

    Aquadaze, if you liked my blog, please do become a follower so that i can share with you whatever i write. it is nice to have a chef as a reader. thanks. hope you keep coming back to my blog. i know i'll keep coming back to yours :)

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It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!

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