punna’s rajma dal
indira shergill (punna)
Recipe type: vegetable
“One usually cooks it according to individual taste—that means you reduce the amount of spices, taking into consideration how much the person eating it can take."
- 2 cups rajma dal (a.k.a. red kidney beans)
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- 3 red onions, around a three-inch radius (“I am mentioning this as I have seen enormous onions in the U.S.”)
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon MDH brand rajma masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tomatoes (diced)
- handful of cilantro
- salt to taste
- 2 or 3 green chilies, cut in half (optional)
- 1-2 pinches of red chili pepper (optional)
- Wash the rajma and soak overnight; ensure the water is at least two inches over the rajma. Put it all in a pressure cooker along with the turmeric and salt. Add water until the cooker is at least half full. Turn down the heat once the cooker builds up pressure (around 5-10 minutes). Allow it to cook for a total of 90 minutes. The rajma should be soft; if not, add hot water and cook some more.
This is what we call tadka:
- Pour the oil or ghee into a wok and heat on medium-high until it shimmers; add the onion and cook until lightly brown. Add ginger, garlic, red chili pepper, and green chilies; cook for around five minutes, stirring so it doesn’t get stuck to the pan. Add diced tomatoes and masala, then cover and let simmer until it becomes a soft mash. Add a wee bit of water in-between if you feel it is sticking to the bottom.
- Add the tadka to the rajma and let it cook for ten minutes. Grind a bit of the rajma with a spoon against the wok so that it thickens, but leave most of the beans intact. Add cilantro.