Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Party Foods – Rajma Masala ( Kidney Bean simmered in a tomato onion gravy with aromatic whole spices)

Rajma Masala is a favourite punjabi side dish and one that my sister S loves! I remember my aunt making it and she would love to have it with rotis or chawal! For me its a delicacy that I make in a large pot and stock for some time.  Its one of those side dishes that can be easily multiplied and served for a large party of guests. It can be made ahead and frozen for at least a month or two. In fact Rajma Masala tastes delicious the day after its been made. I guess all the flavours in the curry marinate overnight and understand each other very well by the next morning! My version is influenced by my favourite chef Sanjeev Kapoor. A wonderful healthy colourful gravy packed with protien and flavour!


Red Kidney Beans – 2 Cups.

Tomato Puree fro 5  Medium Tomatoes.

1  Large Onion finely chopped  by hand or in food processor.

2  Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste.

1  Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder.

1  Tsp Kasuri Methi Powder.

2  Tsp Rajma Masala Powder.

2  Tsp Dhania Powder.

1  Tsp Cumin Powder.

1/2 Tsp Garam Masala Powder.

Whole Spices for Seasoning:

1 Bay Leaf.

1 Tsp Cardamom Powdered.


  • Soak the red kidney beans (Rajma) for about 5-8 hours and cook in the pressure cooker with salt with enoough water to cover the rajma.
  • Wait for 2-3 whistles and then lower the flame for another ten minutes and switch off the heat.
  • Drain the rajma water but save it as it serves as a base for the rajma gravy.  Sightly mash the rajma with the back of a ladle and set aside.
  • In a pan add 1 spoon of butter  and when it melts add the seasonings – Jeera, Bay Leaves and Cardamom Powder.
  • Allow to saute for a few minutes and then add the finely chopped onions.
  • Let them slowly brown in a couple minutes and then add the ginger garlic paste.
  • Any punjabi cooking requires the onions and the ginger garlic paste to almost brown and cook out.
  • When this happens, add the pureed tomatoes and mix in.
  • Follow up with split green chillies, dhania powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and rajma masala.
  • Add a blob of butter and let it cook down until the raw smell is completely gone.
  • Add some rajma water until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with Parathas or Rotis.
Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis. · Kid Friendly Recipes.

Make your own Peanut Butter at home – Preservative Free and Fresh!

Home made Peanut Butter

There are really only two ways one can feel about peanut butter – To Love it and and Love it not !  My love with peanut butter started when I came to the US when I was newly married and tasted the reese`s peanut butter cups. It was heaven all rolled up and pressed in to a little cup sized wonder and I couldnt help but enjoy the sweet and salty taste all rolled in to one goodness. The sweet of the chocolate hits you and then the palates sit back and savour the mild saltiness cutting through the chocolate coming  from the goodness of the peanut butter. Needless to say the kids love them a lot and S loves her PBJ sandwich twice every week to school. Since the store bought  versions are filled with hydrogenated vegetable oil or other times with  palm oil to stabilise it and prevent oil seperation and mild amounts of dextrose etc to sweeten the peanut butter. I felt it is best for my readers to see the health concerns as put forth by wikipedia..


For people with a peanut allergy, peanut butter can cause reactions, including anaphylactic shock, which has led to its being banned in some schools.[7]

The peanut plant is susceptible to the mold Aspergillus flavus which produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin.[8] Since it is impossible to completely remove every instance of aflatoxins, contamination of peanuts and peanut butter is monitored in many countries to ensure safe levels of this carcinogen. In 1990, a study showed that average American peanut butter contained an average of 5.7 parts per billion of aflatoxins, per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines of 20 parts per billion.[9][10]

Some brands of peanut butter may contain a small amount of added partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are high in trans fatty acids, thought to be a cause of atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and stroke; these oils are added to prevent the peanut oil from separating. Natural peanut butter and peanuts do not contain partially hydrogenated oils. A U.S. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) survey of commercial peanut butters in the U.S. showed the presence of trans fat, but at very low levels.[11]

At least one study has found that peanut oil caused relatively heavy clogging of arteries. Robert Wissler of the University of Chicago reported that diets high in peanut oil, when combined with cholesterol intake, clogged the arteries of Rhesus monkeys more than butterfat.[12]

Peanut butter can harbor Salmonella and cause salmonellosis, as in the Salmonella outbreak in the United States in 2007.

As always, its better to moderate whatever we eat and balance it with healthy alternatives.


1 Cup Salted Roasted Peanuts.

1/8 Cup Olive Oil.

2-3 Tbsp Honey.


  • I used the salted roasted variety as I had tonnes of them in my pantry. Feel free to use unsalted roasted, or unsalted unroasted, with or without the skin.
  • If you are using unroasted, use a dry kadai and lightly roast them until you smell the aroma.
  • You might want to remove the skin by crushing the roasted cooled peanuts and blowing the skin away.
  • Transfer to a food processor. Add the oil and give it a quick pulse.  When its a little smooth and ground, add the honey.


  • Now give it a a quick pulse and you will see creamy smooth and shiny home made peanut butter with the sweet and salty kick to it!
  • Spread it over your bread with Blackberry Jelly for a great lunch option for kids! Use it with rotis and roll it up for a sweet and salty snack.
  • As a healthier alternative use it with a thinner and it will double up as a gret sauce over your paste or your salads.
  • Add a spoon to your health drink or your fruit juice and it will work wonders for you.
  • Combine it with sauteed veggies and thai green sauce for another rocking healthy entree.
  • When you buy peanut butter in the stores, watch the labels for hydrogenated oil and trans fat. Simply buy the organic version that has only salt and peanuts. Even better make your own at home!


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