Rajma Chawal – For that Punjabi in you

Rajma Chawal
Rajma and Rice is probably the oldest combo meal in the world
Rajma Chawal
Rajma and Rice is probably the oldest combo meal in the world

Whether you are a Punjabi or not doesn’t matter, if you are an Indian, you know how every region and its people have made a place in your heart by now, including Punjabis.  Rajma Chawal is delicious  to say the least. Add to it the fact that it is the plain rice or jeera rice which does the trick adds to the wonder.  Red kidney beans with its typical thick gravy in the middle of a plate full of steamed rice tempts millions every day, Saturday and Sunday of course are the favourite days though.

The magic about Rajma Chawal is the complex character of red kidney beans tempered with loads of spices very delicately and then plated together with the simplicity of rice.  There are hundreds of recipes floating around, the important point is to get your ingredients right. I suggest get this altogether and play around with the recipe to get the flavour which suits you and your family/ friends best.

This is what all you will need to get Rajma dancing on your taste buds:

Lentils: Red Kidney Beans (Jammu wale Rajma)

Dairy: White Butter, Desi Ghee and Refined Oil

Vegetables: Tomatoes, Onion, Ginger, Coriander/ Cilantro Leaves, Green Chillies

Full Spices: Bay leaf, Cumin Seeds, Cloves, Green Cardamom, Cinnamon Stick, Whole Black Pepper

Powdered Spices: Roasted Cumin Powder, Garam Masala, Turmeric Powder, Cardamom Powder,  Amchur ( Raw Mango Powder)

If you have all of the above, you can’t go wrong with the recipe, the challenge would be to get the flavor which you find awesome. Four to five cycles of cooking should get you there. It is not a bad idea to make a spices bag and let it be in the wok all the while for controlled release of spices. Some do prefer whole spices remaining as intact as possible, so it is essentially a chef’s call.