November 30, 2011

Rajma Chawal (Red/Black beans & Rice)

The first snow in Central Ohio. Tony wanted to have Chili (how blah!). So i decided to introduce li'l Nik Coder to a tried and tested Punjabi staple for cold Sundays ... 'Rajma Chawal' .. or simply put 'Red/Black beans & Rice'.

Rajma Chawal
Total Prep Time: About 20-30 min.


1) 2 cans* of red/black beans, drained and rinsed (Rajma).
2) 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste**
3) 1 6 oz can of tomato paste (or a fresh medium tomato, puree'd).
4) 1 small bay leaf
5) 3 small whole green cardamoms
6) 1 tbsp Garam Masala***
7) 2 cups basmati rice (chawal).
8) 1 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
9) 1-2 tsps cooking oil (olive, canola, vegetable!)
10) 1 medium/large red onion, diced.
11) salt to taste.


Li'l Nik Coder LOVED it!!! 
In a deep pot, saute onion in cooking oil until it begins to brown at the edges. Add ginger garlic paste, mix well and add in tomatoes. Saute for another couple of minutes and then add beans. Mix well, bring to a boil and add 2 cups of hot water and all remaining spices (except the cumin which i like to add to the rice). Mix well and allow to simmer on the back burner.

In a separate pot, boil rice and 1 tsp cumin seeds in ample water. Drain. Serve Rajma Chawal in a bowl, pour rajma over the rice!!!

For the weak of heart, the mild heat of the garam masala can be toned down with a dollop of sour cream, or plain low-fat yogurt. Enjoy!!!

* I used canned beans. If you want to use dry beans they will need to be soaked overnight and then pressure cooked for at least 30-40 min. in advance of anything else.
**  Available at most Indian stores, or you can use fresh ginger and garlic, diced.
*** Available at most Indian stores; Fortunately :) I use a homemade version my mom sends from India.

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