A little bit of tanginess. A hint of sweetness. And lots of flavors. When these three things combine, then we get a delicious Punjabi rajma (kidney bean). This is literally a true love for everyone. If you don’t know about True Love – Try Rajma Chawal.
My husband is a Punjabi and I am from Uttar Pradesh. Both of us love Rajma Chawal a lot. And both of us had a very different kind of rajma while growing up. In my home, we used to have a slightly sweeter rajma. But not like those sweet gravies/curries which you get in Gujarat. On the other hand, Jatin’s mom makes it very simple, with more tomatoes and less onion, and fewer spices. Both were absolutely different in taste and both are undoubtedly delicious.
When we got married and made Rajma for each other, we just couldn’t enjoy it as much as we did earlier. Making two different versions of rajma as per our individual liking was off the table. Then I started experimenting more with Rajma to get the taste that we both can enjoy. It took several attempts but finally, I did it. Now Jatin loves my rajma so much that sometimes he even licks the plate. Yay. It has a hint of sweetness that he doesn’t mind and a little bit of sourness I love. That’s the secret of our happy marriage – A Perfect Rajma 😀
If you don’t have time, watch the video instead.
TIPS TO MAKE IT RIGHT
- Soaking Rajma: I always prefer to wash the kidney beans/rajma first and then soak it overnight. If you soak it first and then wash, the red color of rajma also washes out. Hence, wash it well 2-3 times and then soak (with 3 inches higher water) overnight or for at least 6-8 hrs. If you don’t have much time, soak it in hot water for 1 hour.
- Boiling Rajma: The rajma should be boiled perfectly. It should be soft enough that you can easily press it with your fingers. The water level is very important while boiling. If the water is not enough, the skin of rajma will come off and it will become mushy and won’t look good. Keep the water level at least 2-3 inches above the level of Rajma.
- Brown Onions: Make sure that the onions get completely brown while sautéing. It should not be burnt. Add a little bit of water to avoid burning. Browning of onions caramelizes them and makes them slightly sweeter. It tastes very good in Rajma.
- Gravy Color: To get a nice red color gravy, add red chili powder and turmeric powder (haldi) with tomato puree itself. It cooks for a long time and gives a very nice color to the gravy.
- Gravy Consistency: The gravy thickens as it cools down. Hence, keep the consistency depending on when are you going to eat it.
ADJUSTMENTS – YOU MAY WANT TO MAKE
- Onion Paste: In the recipe, I used chopped onions but you can also make a paste of it.
- Tomato Puree: If you don’t have a grinder, you can also grate the tomatoes using a grater. The gravy will turn out just nice.
- Ghee: If you are a vegan, replace ghee with an equal amount of any cooking oil.
- Rajma: You can even use canned rajma but make sure they don’t have sugar added to it. It makes the rajma quite sweet.
Now let’s grab all the ingredients because we are ready to make one delicious meal – Rajma Chawal. Make it for lunch or brunch over the weekends. It is quite easy, healthy, and like I said – A True Love. By the way, if you never tried rajma with aalu paratha, try it with the leftover rajma. It tastes so very good.
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