Cold wave in the month of March, the weather is fooling us by giving surprises but extended winters are always welcome although I feel bad about all those farmers who are facing losses because of this sudden disturbance.
Coming back to the point, winters are incomplete without sarson ka saag & makkai ki roti, rajma chawal, hot hot tahire ( vegetable pulav) , biryani's and gajar ka halwa ect.ect. .Unlimited combinations like these are available. We will go about it one by one ..
North Indian cuisine is not complete without rajma chawal go to any part of north India and you will find it. So many varieties of kidney beans are available in India but Jammu special rajama is very tasty I like to use it, specially rajma from a place called Bhaderwa they are very quick to cook also. You go to any eating place in Jammu and Kashmir and you will find this mouthwatering combination with special anardana chutney and a spoon full of shudh desi ghee.
How to make rajama
1 1/2 cups ....Red kidney beans (rajma),soaked overnight
3 tbsp ...........Oil
1 inch piece....Ginger,chopped
2 tsp................Red chilli powder
1 tbsp..............Coriander powder
1/2 tsp.............Turmeric powder
1 tsp................Cumin powder
3 medium ........Tomatoes,chopped
Salt to taste
1 tsp ................Garam masala powder
1 tbsp ..............Fresh coriander leaves,chopped
Pressure cook rajma with five cups of water till five whistles or totally cooked and soft.
Heat oil in a deep pan. Add bay leaves and onions and sauté till golden. Add ginger and garlic and continue to sauté for a minute.
Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and stir. Add tomatoes and salt and cook till tomatoes are cooked and oil leaves the masala. Add rajma and mix. Cook on low heat for fifteen minute stirring in between.
Adjust salt and add garam masala powder. Cook for five minutes.Adjust liquid as per your requirement (I don't prefer a thick gravy with rice) Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.
How to cook rice ..
3 cups water . Less water is needed if you have soaked the rice in advance, only 1 1/2 cups water per cup of rice. Thicker grains of rice need slightly more water.
1. Clean, wash the rice gently in cold water, until water runs clean. This is to remove excess starch, so the end result is not sticky. Soaking it for 30 minutes or so makes it longer and fluffier.
2. Now strain in a wire strainer or sieve, to remove all water. If it is not drained fully after soaking for 20-30 minutes, you have to reduce the amount of water in boiling, or you end up having too much water and soggy rice.
3. Measure and boil water in a flat bottomed pan that has a tight fitting lid. If you don’t want to measure the rice, you can have roughly 1 1/2-2 finger’s width of water above the level of rice.
4. Add rice and bring to boil. After about 20 seconds of brisk boiling/bubbling, close the lid and reduce heat to minimum. Lid should be tight fitting.
5. Cook for 10-15 minutes, on minimum heat, until all water is absorbed. If you have an electric hob where it is difficult to reduce heat instantly.
6. Open the lid slightly at the end of the boiling time and pick up a couple of grains of rice. To check if it is ready, squeeze the picked grains of rice between your forefinger and thumb, no ‘grit’ should be felt. If it has 2-3 ‘grits and feels under-cooked, sprinkle a little water on top, close the lid and cook for further 5 minutes.
7. Allow to ‘rest’ or ‘stand’ for a 5-10 minutes. This makes sure that all the rice is evenly cooked.
8. Lightly fluff up with a fork and serve hot .