Raajma has always been one of my favorite dishes. It is so comforting, whether you are eating it with bread, rice, quinoa, or by itself. I have found that many cultures have some variation of "beans and rice" as a comfort food.
First, if you are using dry kidney beans (which I recommend because there are no preservatives and they are cheaper!), soak the beans in water for 4 to 6 hours. Once they have soaked, discard the soaking water and add the beans to a pot and cover with new water. Bring the water to a boil and let the beans boil for 10 minutes; then, drain the water from the beans. Alternatively, you can used boxed or canned kidney beans. Whichever method you use, add the kidney beans to the slow-cooker.
Heat the oil in a saute pan and add the bay leaves once it is warm. The bay leaves will brown relatively quickly, in a few minutes. Make sure you watch them so they don't burn!
If the raajma appears too thick for your liking, add some water. I added 1/2 a cup of water 3.5 hours into cooking the raajma. I cooked it for a total of 4 hours. When I added the water, I also added the garam masala and red chili powder.
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 cup dry red kidney beans, or 2 cups canned or boxed red kidney beans
- 1 small red onion, enough for 1 cup chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 a fingerhot green chili pepper
- 1 small piece of ginger, enough for 1 tbsp grated
- 2 Roma tomatoes, enough for 1/2 cup chopped
- 1 cup boxed or canned chopped tomato (I recommend Pomi brand!)
- 1 1/2 tsps cooking oil
- 3 small bay leaves
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 1/4 tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- Optional: 1 tsp heavy cream or 2 tsps plain yogurt
- If using dry kidney beans, soak the beans in water for 4 to 6 hours. Discard the soaking water and add the soaked beans to a pot with fresh water. Bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes, then drain the water from the beans and add to the slow-cooker.
- If using canned or boxed beans, rinse the beans in water and add to the slow-cooker.
- Chop the onion, garlic cloves, green chili pepper, and tomatoes. Grate the ginger.
- Add the oil to a saute pan. Once warmed, add the bay leaves to the oil and watch as they brown.
- Once the bay leaves have browned, add the chopped onion and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until translucent and soft.
- Add the garlic and green chili pepper and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the ginger and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add the onion and spice mixture to the slow-cooker with the beans.
- Add the freshly chopped Roma tomatoes and boxed chopped tomatoes to the slow-cooker.
- Turn the slow-cooker on high for 3 to 4 hours, checking the texture of the beans at the 3-hour mark.
- Once the beans are almost perfectly softened, add the water, garam masala and red chili powder, as well as more salt to taste (roughly at the 3-and-1/2-hour mark).
- After another 15 to 30 minutes, you may add the heavy cream or plain yogurt if you want.
- Serve with quinoa and a spoon of plain yogurt!
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