Keema (minced mutton or chicken) cooked with masalas on its own (Bhuna Keema Aloo Masala) is very popular. But how about pairing it with some Rajma (Red Kidney Beans) for something different? Needless to mention rajma has always been on my list of best loved choice, and am glad my parents loves it too. Whenever someone talks about rajma the next day it is sure that I’ll make Rajma Masala for dinner. Sometimes my friends and relatives wonder how I could love ‘Rajma’ so much in-spite of being a Bengali! It’s because of the food habit I have grown with since childhood I guess. Mom cooks every types of lentil grown in India in different dishes. Moreover when I used to stay in Banaras for my studies Rajma-Chawal was a staple meal for us… and I Love to eat Rajma in any form.
It was again a rajma day on the menu for dinner, but this time I chose to pair it with ‘Keema’ to make ‘Keemawale Rajma’ (Kidney Beans Curry with Minced Chicken/Mutton). Use of keema enhances the flavour of rajma so much !
Trust me, it was remarkable combination and hit the list on the top. ‘Keemawale Rajma’ is an easy dish to make and earns you loads of appreciation. This curry can be braced very well with Lachcha Paratha, Kulcha or Pulao and even steamed rice. ‘Keemawale Rajma’ makes an ultimate dish for weekend dinners or even parties if you are ‘keema’ and ‘rajma’ lover. Relish this simple and delectable dish with either plain steamed Rice, Veg Biryani, Pulao, Jeera Rice, Paratha, Puri, Naan, Tandori Roti or just plain Chapatti. Let’s quickly go through how to make ‘Keemawale Rajma’ …
- 300 gms Chicken or Mutton Keema
- 200 gms Rajma or kidney beans
- 1 cup Onion – (Finely chopped)
- ¾ cup Tomato – (Finely chopped)
- 2 tsps Garlic Paste
- 1 tsp Ginger Paste
- 1 – 2 no Green Chilies – .s (Crushed to a paste in a mortar-pestle)
- 2 Tbsps Yogurt
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- ½ tsp Punjabi Garam Masala Powder
- 2 tsps Lemon Juice
- ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 no Dry Whole Red Chilli – .s
- 2 no Bay Leaf – .s
- 1 tsp Kasuri Methi or Dry Fenugreek Leaves
- 4 – 5 Tbsps Vegetable Oil
- 3 cups Water – (For pressure cooking)
- To taste Salt
- 1 – 2 tsps Ghee or Clarified Butter
- 2 Tbsps Coriander Leaf – (Chopped)
- Rinse and soak the rajma or kidney beans in enough water overnight or for 8-9 hours. Next day, discard the water and rinse the beans again in fresh water. In a pressure cooker, take both the rajma and 3 cups water and half teaspoon salt. Pressure cook on a medium to high flame for 15-20 minutes.
- Marinate the keema with lemon juice, 1 tsp garlic paste, little red chillie powder and little turmeric powder.
- When the rajma is cooking, you can chop the onions, tomatoes etc.
- When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid, check if the rajma is cooked or not by taking a bite or pressing a bean. If they are not cooked completely, then pressure cook again adding some water if required for some minutes.
- Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Add cumin first and let them crackle & get browned. Then add dry red chilli and bay leaf.
- Then add onions and sauté them till they caramelized or golden browned. Take care not to burn them as this will impart bitter tones in the curry. Light browning the onions is also alright. Keep on stirring the onions while sautéing them, for uniform cooking.
- Add the marinated keema and salt and sauté for 5-6 minutes.
- Add the ginger-garlic-chilli paste. Stir and sauté for 5-10 seconds on a low flame.
- Add the tomatoes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes till the tomatoes become soft.
- Add all the spice powders one by one except garam masala powder. Stir and sauté the whole masala mixture till the oil starts leaving the masala.
- Add dry fenugreek or kasuri methi.
- Use a slotted spoon or a strainer and remove the beans and add them to the masala.
- ake 1.5 to 2 cups from the stock and add to the rajma.
- Adjust salt and stir the whole curry mixture.
- Simmer without a lid for 10-12 minutes or more till the curry thickens slightly and the keema is done. It should not be watery.
- Mash a few rajma beans with the spoon. This helps to thicken the curry.
- When the rajma masala has thickened and comes to the right consistency which is neither too thick nor thin, then add the garam masala powder. Stir & simmer rajma masala for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Switch off the fire.
- Garnish with butter and coriander leaf.
- Serve keemawale rajma with steamed basmati rice, jeera rice, whole wheat naan or naan.
~ Canned kidney beans can also be used. In this case, just make the curry or sauce first and then add the rajma beans and water.
~If cooking rajma in a pot or pan first soak the rajma as usual for 8-9 hours. Drain them and rinse them with fresh water. Then in a huge pot, boil enough water first. Add the rajma and salt. Cook covered for about 45 to 1 hour or more if required. It takes a long time to cook rajma without a pressure cooker.
~ If using mutton keema it will take a little longer time than chicken keema.