Rajma chawal. Rajma chawal is one of the fixed in all Punjabi houses. On weekends, rajma chawal or Dal makhani or Chana masala or Punjabi kadhi pakora is sort of a must in any Punjabi house and at home too.
Here Rajma means red bean sauce and Chawal means rice. Here I am sharing both the methods of making rajma and chawal (steamed rice).
This quick and easy potted rajma made without cream, which I’m posting here, is another recipe from Mom’s fabulous Punjabi recipe in the law. It’s his special recipe and it’s special in another sense. This is a really, really simple and easy rajma recipe – no grinding, no stir-frying, no frying.
This is a one-pot rajma sauce that you can make regularly at home. A rajma that you eat in Punjabi houses – not spicy, thick or creamy like the rajma masala served in restaurants.
This simple recipe is slightly spicy and not heavy as no cream is used. Overall a delicious, easy sauce that pairs well with steamed rice or chawal.
In most Punjabi homes, red beans are cooked until they become tender enough to melt in your mouth. Whereas in many restaurants that I have eaten the beans are just cooked.
I suggest cooking the kidney beans completely so that they become soft and easy to digest. Remember, well-cooked kidney beans are easy to digest. Another important point that I have to mention about preparing rajma is to soak the beans overnight so that they take less time to cook in the pressure cooker.
I should also mention that the Rajma served in Jammu Kashmir region of India are also very delicious and famous.
If you are lucky enough to go to Jammu, Holy Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine or Kashmir, be sure to order Rajma chawal there.
Punjabi rajma is best served with steamed rice. Actually, the rajma chawal combo is very popular and loved by many people. At home we also have rajma with chapati or lachedar paratha or phulka, steamed rice. You can also serve rajma with bread or jeera rice.
How to make one pot rajma (without cream)
1. Soak 1 cup (200 grams) of rajma (kidney beans) in enough water overnight or for 8-9 hours.
2. After 8 to 9 hours or the next day, drain the soaked water.
3. Rinse the kidney beans again in clean, cool water.
4. Drain them and set them aside.
5. Chop the vegetables – 1 large onion (100 g), 3 medium tomatoes (200 g), 1 inch of ginger, 7 to 8 medium garlic and 1 green chili. Set aside.
Make rajma gravy
6. In a pressure cooker, add the red beans with the chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green peppers.
7. Now add the spices – 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon of red chili powder, ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder and salt to taste.
8. Pour in 2.5 cups of water (625 ml).
9. stir very well.
10. Add 2 tablespoons of butter or oil.
11. stir again.
12. Cover tightly and cook under pressure for 18 to 20 whistles over high heat.
Also Read: Dal Fry Recipe
13. Once the pressure has calmed down on its own, open the lid and check the beans. Kidney beans should be fully cooked. Taste a few beans and they should melt in your mouth without giving you a bite or resistance as you eat. If the beans are still not fully cooked, add about 1/2 cup more water and cook again under pressure for 5 to 6 whistles or as needed.
14. Once the kidney beans have softened and are cooked through, also check the sauce. You will see a thin, water-like broth with the tomatoes and onions floating around. It is therefore necessary to continue to simmer until the sauce thickens a little.
15. Keep the stove on the stove without a lid and over low to medium heat to bring the sauce to a simmer.
16. When keeping the rajma sauce on the stove, add 1 teaspoon of dry mango powder (amchour).
17. Add about ¾ to 1 teaspoon of garam masala powder.
18. Mix well and simmer until the consistency of the sauce thickens. To thicken the consistency, mash a few kidney beans with the back of a spoon.
19. When the consistency of the sauce no longer looks like broth or water and is somewhat thickened. Then the rajma sauce is ready. If you wish, you can thicken the sauce further, if you have it with chapati or phulka. But if you have rajma with rice or chawal, no need to thicken the sauce. Finally, check the taste and add more salt, garam masala, chili powder or dry mango powder if needed. You can even garnish the rajma with a few cilantro leaves.
How to make steamed rice
1. I share the absorption method of cooking rice. You can take as much rice as you plan to serve. Here I took 1 cup of piled basmati rice (200 grams). Note that basmati rice triples in volume when cooked. So 1 cup of raw basmati rice will make about 3 to 3.5 cups of cooked rice. Take the rice grains in a bowl and start rinsing the rice grains under running water. Rinse the grains with a light swirl of your fingers in the bowl.
2. Rinse the rice grains until the water is clear of all starch.
3. Soak the rice grains in ¾ to 1 cup of water for 30 minutes. After keeping the kidney beans to cook in the pressure cooker, you can start by rinsing and soaking the rice.
4. After 30 minutes, drain all the water from the rice and set it aside.
5. For 1 cup of rice, pour 2 cups of water (500 mL) into a heavy, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Use the 1: 2 ratio of rice and water depending on how much rice you are using. Also use a large, deep saucepan so that the water drains while cooking. The amount of water to add depends on the quality and quantity of rice. Sometimes some varieties of basmati rice are cooked quickly in less water. In this case, you can add 1.75 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.
6. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt or to taste. You can also add ½ teaspoon of oil or butter or ghee. Adding fat like oil or butter is optional.
7. Let the water boil over medium to medium-high heat.
8. Add the rice.
9. Gently stir the rice grains with a fork. You can even gently shake the pan so that the grains of rice settle.
10. Cover the pot with an airtight lid. Check once or twice when the rice cooks. If the rice grains seem undercooked and the water is dry, add 2-3 tablespoons of hot water. Stir gently with a fork.
11. Then lower the flame and cook the rice until all the water is absorbed and the grains of rice are cooked through. Usually, the rice takes about 7-8 minutes for the rice grains to be tender, chewy and chewy. The cooking time will vary depending on the type or variety of rice grains, the quality of the pan and the intensity of the flame.
12. Once the rice is cooked, let stand 5 minutes before opening the lid. Then open the lid and gently peel the rice with a fork.
13. While serving, pour the rice into a serving plate. Make a bed of rice. Pour the rajma sauce over the rice. Enjoy Rajma chawal. Rajma can also be served with roti, paratha, naan, or bread.
Tips for making rajma chawal
- Make sure the kidney beans are well soaked otherwise it will take a long time to cook them.
- Rajma sauce is not watery but smooth. If you find that there is too much water after cooking the beans. Then cook the rajma without a lid to evaporate the water.
- If during cooking the water decreases, add hot water.
- Red beans should be tender and well cooked.
- Although I have given the water usage measurements, you may need to check the consistency of the sauce as rajma is different in different places. Some kidney beans take longer to cook than other varieties. I have faced this problem many times. Sometimes, even despite cooking kidney beans for a good 45 minutes in a pressure cooker, kidney beans are not fully cooked. Also use rajma beans that are not old. They are older, the longer they take to cook.
- I used regular kidney beans. You can try it with canned kidney beans. Although I have never tried anything with canned beans and wouldn’t know what the dish would taste like. By using regular kidney beans, the flavors and aroma of the sauce are absorbed by the beans as we cook everything together. I don’t know if the same would happen for canned beans.
- If you don’t have a pressure cooker, use a large pot to cook the beans. But cooking the kidney in a saucepan would take a long time.
You can serve Rajma sauce with rice, they also go well with chapati, roti or bread. But the Rajma chawal combo is very famous.