Sunday, July 25, 2010

Simple home food...

It is really sad that people don't cook at home these days. It has become a trend to go out and discover new restaurants rather than cook at home. Cooking is an art and if you keep the recipes simple, you can discover the joy of cooking great food- Try out this north Indian dish called Rajmah chawal- really tastes great for dinner with friends- Rajmah is nothing but red kidney beans cooked in a rich gravy which can be eaten with naan/roti or steaming hot rice. I love Rajmah with rice (chawal). The only effort that goes in this dish is cooking the kidney beans- You have to soak it overnight and cook it in a pressure cooker/steamer till it softens and melts in your mouth- If pressed for time, simply grab a tin of ready to use kidney beans (that has already been cooked). 

Rajmah Chawal

Ingredients to cook Rajmah (Red kidney beans)

2 cups red ked kidney beans (soak it in water overnight)
1 big tomatoe - chopped
2 onions - chopped
1 spoon ginger grated
1 red chilli
2 garlic pieces crushed and chopped
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 big spoon corriander powder
salt according to taste
Bay leaf
Cardamom seeds- crushed
Cinnamon stick (small piece)
dash of black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika powder or red chilli powder
Let's get cooking Rajmah- 

First cook the soaked kidney beans in a pressure cooker or steamer for 30 to 40 minutes till they soften - The test is once they are cooked try crushing them with your thumb- the kidney bean should crush without any effort. In a wok, heat some oil. Once the oil is hot, put in the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, garlic, ginger and chopped red chillies. Now throw in the onions and cook them till they become golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and keep blending the ingredients till they become a thick paste. Now comes the spices- Add corriander powder, crushed cardamom seeds, pepper, salt, paprika powder. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the oil separates from the mixture and it becomes a thick gravy. Add the cooked kidney beans with 2 cups of water and allow the beans to blend well with the gravy. Close the wok with a lid and allow the beans to cook with the gravy for 10 to 12 minutes on a low flame. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and lightly smash the kidney beans while mixing. Add a spoon of butter and mix the kidney beans thoroughly so that it takes the essence of butter. Garnish with chopped corriander leaves- Cook some basmati rice and enjoy your kidney beans!

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