During the initial days of our married lives when I had just moved to the US, Abhishek used to cook a lot. Not sure if that was to impress his new bride or because the new bride's cooking was not as "edible" as it is now, but he'd cook. I would wake up to a nicely set table with cumin scented scrambled eggs, crisp brown toast smothered with buttered and cardamom tea boiling in a copper pot perfuming the whole house. Ahh, those blissful newly-wed days! That did not last very long but yes it happened to me. I always say to myself that maybe I very quickly evolved to be a "fabulous" cook and he realized that its time to move out of the kitchen to make home on the couch in front of the television.
One of the very first things that he cooked for me was a Rajma Masala, red kidney beans cooked with several spices long enough for all the spices to blend together and enter each and every bean in the pot. Rajma Masala he cooked that day was good and he very excitedly told me it was his all time favorite meal, rajma masala drizzled with ghee and steamy puffed rotis on the side. I still wonder why he made his favorite meal to impress me but maybe that was something he knew he will not go wrong with, and he did not. Even today (well until he reads this!) he does not know rajma masala was one of my least favorite dishes until that day. Maybe no one cooked it for me with so much excitement and love before. And now whether it is an occasion or not, if it has anything even remotely to do with making Mr. Singh happy then there has to be Rajma Masala somewhere. If I am making it at home then it should be enough for him to last the next two three meals.
When we were planning a small birthday celebration for him last week this one had to be on the menu. I cooked it as usual and everyone liked it as usual. Now when people ask me for a recipe they assume that they can just check it out on my blog. That's when it hit me that a dish which is my favorite person's favorite meal and is so close to me, I do not have its recipe up on my blog. That is just not right. So I made amends as soon as I could. Hence sharing the recipe for Rajma Masala and wishing the husband a very belated happy birthday!
Well, the recipe coming up must be the shortest recipe directions/method that I might have written in this entire blog! And if you had read my last post on Indian Curry paste then you might just know the reason why. As I told you in my last post that if you know how to make Indian Curry paste then you can easily make half the curries with no effort. This is what I did with my rajma masala. Just added curry paste to boiled rajma (red kidney beans) and I was good to go. Instead of using canned beans I buy dry beans from the super market, soak them for 6-8 hours and then boil them with salt and cloves. If you think that is too much work for you then you can you use canned beans and you life will be even easier. Just clean your canned beans with water thoroughly before using and give it a nice boil with curry paste and some water. That's how easy this recipe is. So check it out-
1cup dry red kidney beans (or two 8 oz canned red kidney beans)
Salt to taste.
3/4 cup curry paste (recipe in detail here)
Wash dry beans with water, then soak them in water three times the quantity of beans. In this case I used 3 cups of water. Let it soak in water for 6-8 hours or overnight depending on how fast your beans absorb water and get soft.
Drain all the water. Add fresh water, this time four times the quantity of beans (in this case 4 cups).
Add cloves, salt and pressure cook until the beans are cooked.
If you don't have a pressure cooker I would say using canned beans would be more convenient because it will take you long to cook dry ones. But if you want to do it from scratch then add water enough for the beans to cook in a pot and boil until they are tender.
Once the beans are cooked, add curry paste. Give it another quick boil.
Turn off the heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with warm steamed rice.