Rajma, or red bean based dishes, is a staple food in many Indian households. Of the many Indian preparations that use red kidney beans, Makhani Rajma is a classic. It uses spice layering techniques to build up the flavor, with onions, tomatoes, and a dash of cream added right when they shine best. The recipe can be adapted to dietary needs. If you like chili, you will like Makhani Rajma. This dish is usually served as an accompaniment to a larger meal, but it can also be eaten as a starter. The finished dish tastes even better when it rests in the refrigerator overnight. Serve family-friendly with basmati or brown rice, naan and / or raita.
Active time: 30 minutes; Total time: 1 hour
Storage information: The sauce can be prepared up to the addition of beans and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Where to buy: Indian bay leaf (Tamal patra) can be found in Indian grocery stores and online.
In a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers.
If you are using onions, add them to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes, until soft and light golden brown. Stir in the ginger and garlic and, while stirring, making sure that nothing burns, cook for about 30 seconds until they are aromatic. Add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf and cook for about 1 minute, stirring, until fragrant.
If you’re using the onions, sprinkle the cayenne pepper on top and mix to coat it evenly. (If you’re not using the onions, take the pan off the heat and let it cool for about 1 minute before adding the cayenne pepper, as it will burn instantly in very hot oil.)
Add the tomatoes and stir evenly with the spices. Cook, stirring, until the liquid starts to evaporate, about 2 minutes. (See NOTES for a smoother sauce.)
Add the beans and stir gently so they don’t break. Add the water, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
When the sauce starts to thicken, add the fenugreek leaves. Stir in sugar and season with salt. Cover again and continue to cook until the sauce thickens and the flavors merge, another 10 minutes.
Try one of the beans and if it’s still not flavorful add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water, cover again and simmer for another 10 minutes, then try again. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste and add more salt and sugar or honey if necessary.
Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf to serve. Pour the cream over it, remove from the stove and serve hot, family-style, as a side dish or main course, optionally with rice, naan and raita as a side dish.
For a smooth sauce, puree the tomatoes and spices before adding the beans. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Remove and save the cinnamon and bay leaf, then use a hand blender to process the sauce in short bursts to reduce the splashing until smooth. If you use a regular mixer, let the sauce cool completely before processing. After pureeing, add the sauce to the pan, add the cinnamon stick and bay leaf again, and continue with the rest of the recipe.
If you don’t use onions, use 1 cup of chopped tomatoes as well.
The dish is best if you use homemade beans. See related recipe for Simply Perfect Pot of Beans.
The recipe can be adapted to other types of cooked beans, including black-eyed peas and adzuki beans. Or replace the beans with your preferred ingredient, e.g. B. parboiled baby potatoes and halved cremini mushrooms, or proteins such as.
Indian bay leaf, also known as tamal patra, has a different taste than regular bay leaf and results in a more complex flavor.
Fresh fenugreek leaves and the dried seeds have a different taste from dried fenugreek leaves. Do not replace.
Tested by Ann Maloney.
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