Healthy & nutritious Kashmiri rajma curry is the Kashmiri red kidney beans cooked in flavorful Kashmiri spice combinations to bring out the best flavors ever!
I would call this Kashmiri rajma curry a special version of rajma masala which is made with Kashmiri kidney beans and lovely Indian spices! Kashmiri food has many hidden gems with this Kashmiri rajma curry being one such vegetarian delicacy. Kashmiri food is high on spices & flavor and uses minimal onion which is the major difference in Kashmiri food and other North Indian preparations. This Kashmiri rajma curry is also no exception! I am already fond of regular rajma, but this time I bought the special ‘Kashmiri Rajma’ to make something different than my usual Rajma Masala. Kashmiri kidney beans are a bit smaller in size than the regular version. This recipe is also quite lighter than my earlier spicy rajma curry, but nevertheless this Kashmiri rajma curry is full of immense flavors.
I always love yogurt-based curries which emanates intense flavors of the spices without making them too overpowering. Kidney beans or ‘Rajma’ as we call it in India is quite a popular dish in Northern region of India, but my mum never made it during my childhood and I am not sure why. Kidney beans are quite a nutritious thing – it is a good source of dietary fibers, vitamin B1 and iron among many other nutritional benefits. And guess what! It tastes great too! Isn’t that awesome? Healthy food can be tasty too and this Kashmiri rajma curry is a full-proof evidence of that! Though onion is used in most of the Indian curries, this Kashmiri rajma curry uses minimal of it and sometimes is made without any onion whatsoever and still tastes amazing!
In India, we use dry uncooked kidney beans as opposed to the bottled ones which are cooked. The dry kidney beans require a longer cooking time and additionally you need to soak them for considerable number of hours, preferably overnight. I have found a short-cut method which is very useful in case you forget to soak the beans last night and still you have made up your mind to make nothing else other than the ecstatic Kashmiri rajma curry for tonight’s dinner! I myself suffer from this syndrome way too often and have no idea how to cure it! Hence, I had to come up with a make-shift arrangement so that I don’t deprive myself from such a nutritious dish!
So, in such case what you can do to quickly soften the hard beans is to pour boiling water on them and keep covered for half an hour. Then preferably pressure-cook them for 15 minutes or boil them in salted water until soft. But if you are in US, chances are that you are using canned beans which are already processed and cooked. Then you don’t have to worry about soaking beans etc.; you can straightway proceed to the recipe of Kashmiri rajma curry! I so love this Kashmiri rajma curry that I ensure to include it in our meals at least once a week. This Kashmiri rajma curry goes really well with rice which is our staple main, but it pairs well with roti or paratha too! Try this soon and you will love it for sure! Enjoy!
- Kashmiri Red kidney beans – 1 & ½ cups
- Soda bicarbonate – 1 tsp
- Vegetable oil – 4 tbsp [you can replace oil with ghee (clarified butter) for more richness]
- Onion – 1, medium, finely chopped
- Asafetida – ⅛ tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Dried ginger powder – 1 tsp
- Yogurt – ½ cup, beaten smooth
- Garam masala – 1 tsp
- Ginger paste – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Chili powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- Soak kidney beans and soda in water overnight, approximately for 6 to 8 hours.
- Drain and cook in fresh water till soft (about 15 minutes in a pressure cooker, after the first whistly).
- Drain and keep the beans and water separately till ready to use.
- Heat oil (or ghee if using) in a large pot and add asafetida and cumin seeds.
- When cumin splutters, add the chopped onion and fry till soft and golden brown.
- Next add ginger powder, yogurt and ginger paste, stirring vigorously all the time.
- Sauté till oil separates. Add salt, chili powder and cooked kidney beans. Sauté for a minute or so.
- Add a cup and half of the rajma water to the pot. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes.
- Add the garam masala and coriander powder, simmer another minute or so and serve the delicious Kashmiri rajma curry hot garnished with the coriander leaves. Enjoy!