Method There was a time when red kidney beans were mere substitute for meat or rather bought by those who could not afford the expensive meat. Hence, beans were considered the poor man`s meat. With changing times many have come to realize that this humble bean has more to offer in terms of health benefits. Rich in protein and low in fat, kidney beans is on top of the charts on a weight watcher`s list. The northern states in India rave about this comfort food and cooked with a melange of Indian spices, the bean tastes heavenly.
Soak the beans in water for at least 8 hours or best leave it overnight.
Beat the curd in a blender and keep aside before adding the seasoning.
Pressure cook the beans with salt till soft and easy to mash.
Once cooked remove from water and add the beans in a blender and blend till coarse and not a fine paste.
Remove and keep aside. Do not throw away the water it was pressure cooked in.
It will help dilute the beans later.
In a heavy bottom wok add oil and ghee and heat.
Add bay leaf, star anise, cloves, cardamom and saute till you get the aroma.
Ensure it`s not burnt but just fried enough to release the flavours.
Add, chopped ginger, garlic, onion and sugar. Let it caramelize.
Once brown add the tomatoes and cook till well mashed.
Reduce heat completely and add the beaten curd.
Once mixed well add the seasoning ingredients and stir till well incorporated.
To this mixture add the blended beans and stir again till all the ingredients come together.
Let it simmer for ten minutes to infuse all the masala in the beans.
Serve hot with accompaniments garnished with coriander and a swirl of fresh cream.
1) You could make your own garam masala - Just roast 1/4 tsp of cumin, fennel, pepper corn, 1/4 cup coriander seeds, 1 red chilli, 2 green cardamom, 1/2 star anise, a small piece of nutmeg. Grind all the ingredients together to a fine powder and store in an air tight container. Since it`s freshly ground, it would impart more flavour to the dish than the usual store bought powder.
2) When you blend the beans in the jar, it would thicken; use the water that was used to cook it to scoop out the ground bean. If any water is left, use that to dilute the beans as it would thicken while you cook.
3) If you`d like the rajma to look a dazzling red add 1 tsp cayenne pepper too and reduce curd by half.
Time taken: Soaking time - 8hrs/Cooking time- 30-40 mins