Rajma

Hello dear readers!

I’ve got this warm and savory recipe to share today.. Suppose I’ll share it with you all anyway 😉 cant keep everything to myself. Especially not food.. gotta share.. even leftovers. Hah! Anyway, the weather has been quite rainy here lately. Last week a tornado stormed through our neighborhood and with it, brought tons of rain. Its crazy.. I suppose the rainy season here in Houston started earlier than usual. We normally see this kind of rain in April. So with this in mind, lets equip the best boots, coats, and umbrella suited for this weather. Slip resistant everyone! Carrying a big and sturdy umbrella in this harsh weather is key.. i’ve literally seen umbrellas breaking and shoes drowning in a flood of water. But safe than sorry.. oh and always please drive safely.. <3

So on to Rajma.. this is the same word that translates to beans in Hindi! So Hindi is the main spoken language in India. India has a ton of spoken languages, but Hindi is the main language that you’ll often hear of. So I freakin’ love Indian/Pakistani/Afghan/Persian food. I truly believe these cultures create some of THE BEST VEGETARIAN FOOD! My family.. being of Pakistani origin.. have been eating lentils, beans and legumes all of their lives. These main ingredients take center stage in the diverse culinary world of South Asia. I often crave vegetarian food and swap out meat for beans or lentils. These pulses soak up a ton of flavor and keep you seriously full. Which is the best feeling ever! (Especially for someone like me… who is always hungry.) 😛

So there you have it.. Rajma literally translates to beans… and it is often served with rice. Doesn’t that ring a bell? Beans and rice? It is that one meal that almost every culture eats! Without it.. what would ever become of humanity? Lol. But literally, I feel vegan and vegetarian foods are great sources for our present/future. These are meals that can serve all of humankind.. + on a budget. When I think of beans and rice.. I can easily imagine the Cuban, Mexican, Cajun, and Colombian version of this dish. Many cultures cook up their beans and rice with pork and that is a true no-no for me! I prefer to cook these meals in the vegetarian manner anyway. So kidney beans were brought to India through Mexico. The South Asian culture fell in love with red kidney beans and now Rajma is served on numerous occasions. This dish is also eaten in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Gotta love those cultural ingredient trades.

I feel as if I could eat a big warm bowl of Rajma served with a fluffy bed of steamed basmati rice every week. This meal doesn’t take too long to make and its surely a crowd pleaser. Typically, Rajma is made with kidney beans so I truly would not swap them out for any other beans. Remember to use quality basmati rice. Below is the recipe. 🙂


 Rajma Masala

1 can kidney beans (28 oz can) (much faster than soaking and using dry beans)
half an onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
small knob of ginger (minced)
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz) (use organic if possible)
1/2 cup of fresh water
3 tbl olive oil
spices: (please use all of them for maximum flavor)
( adjust flavor according to your tolerance to heat)
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
garnish with:
1 chopped green onion
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 tbl fresh coriander leaves

1. Saute the onion with olive oil for about 5 minutes, until tender and translucent. I tend to add salt at this stage, it helps the onions sweat and I increase the amount of salt if needed.
2. Saute garlic for a minute with the onions. Then add in the fresh ginger.
3. Throw in the can of drained kidney beans. Saute this mixture for about a minute. Lets the beans soak up the flavor.
4. At this time, temper the spices together with the beans. Let the spices release their aroma, for about a good minute. Add the can of tomato sauce + 1/2 cup of water together. Turn the mixture on high heat until mixture boils.
5. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat and let the beans gently simmer until tender.
6. Mash the beans a bit so they can turn the stew creamy and thick. Careful not to mash all of the beans. Just a few.
7. You’ll know the stew is ready when all  it comes together and the sauce has a nice viscosity. (About 25 mins).
8. Throw in the green onions, garam masala, and coriander. These last ingredients are key in terms of flavor and presentation. Garam masala is a lovely spice that consists of many warming spices that are ground together. Fresh coriander provides color and brightness to the overall dish. Green onions are not common in Rajma, but they go great together and also provide nice flavor + color.

So there you have it folks! Rajma masala.. Please serve this lovely warming dish with steamed basmati rice, naan, or roti. You can certainly eat this meal on this own.. kind of like an Indian chili.. but i’ve never done that and it may be a bit spicy on its own. Typically, South Asian meals are always served with some sort of carbohydrate. We just love our carbs on carbs. Hah! But really.. this meal is great without breaking your bank, keeps ya full and satisfied. Please comment below if you have any questions. I certainly love to provide healthy + easy recipes for you all. Thanks for being such patient readers.. you guys are truly some of my best supporters.

I promise that one day there will be a recipe book.. it may be an e-book or I might just create hard covers. But I know its a dream of mine and I will make it happen!

What are your plans for the week? Work? Im not working these days but I hope to get on it soon. Whatever that may be.. the sky is the limit. Hold on to your dreams, be steadfast and make things happen. Life passes by anyway. We’re already in the last days of February. How quick was that?

Goodnight from sleepy Houston and have a great rest of the week dearies!

With love,

Sara // xoxo

 

 

 

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