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.
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..
The peanut plant is susceptible to the moldAspergillus flavus which produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin. 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.
Some brands of peanut butter may contain a small amount of added partially hydrogenatedvegetable 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.
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.