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The idea of rajma (kidney beans) may not seem very exciting, but if cooked the right way, it can be a gastronomic work of art. No, we’re not exaggerating. With its mild, sweet flavour and creamy texture, rajma works well in soups, appetisers, sides, and main dishes. Taste and texture aside, rajma is also healthy, hearty, and filling. Kidney beans are a rich source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals such as iron, manganese, and potassium.
Rajma can become a secret weapon in your culinary arsenal, such is this humble bean’s versatility. Here are a few ways you can get started in discovering the different ways in which you can cook rajma.
(Also discover the many avatars of coconut and spinach in the kitchen.)

Make a soup or curry
A rajma soup is a good choice for an easy one-pot meal—especially during the winter months. Boil the beans and simultaneously sauté some vegetables for the soup. Once the rajma is cooked, mix it with the sautéed veggies, some spices, and salt in a separate bowl and let it simmer for about 15 minutes (or depending on the consistency you like) allowing all the flavours to come together. As for the curry, you can go for the classic rajma masala, of the famed rajma chawal duo, and serve it with some steamed/jeera rice and ghee or hot chapatis. It is basically rajma cooked in a spicy tomato and onion-based gravy.

Turn them into tikkis
Mash some boiled rajma with vegetables, add a binder (such as flour or oats), and season it well. Then make patties out of it and shallow fry or you could even bake it. Once done, you can serve it with a dip or just jazz it up by placing it between a burger bun/sandwich bread with a well-seasoned coleslaw. 

If you don’t find these patties appetising enough, we’d suggest you try out Chef Ranveer Brar’s Rajma Kibbeh. This appetiser is Brar’s take on the popular Lebanese dish kibbeh, which is basically a pyramid-shaped croquette made using bulgur, minced onions, meat, and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, sumac powder, etc.).
(Also check: How to make rajma cutlet sandwiches by chef Ranveer Brar)

Toss rajma in a salad
Throw in boiled rajma in fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, and corn, and a simple vinaigrette for a healthy salad. You can take this simple salad to the next level either by adding a portion of boiled wheat pasta or serving the salad in taco shells. Doing this will help you add texture and dimension to a run of the mill salad. 
(Also check: LF chef Gurdip Kohli Punj’s Healthy Rajma Salad)

How about making a dip?
Presenting rajma hummus! The mildly sweet, flavour of kidney beans when well-seasoned serves as a perfect accompaniment with fresh chips or pita bread. For people who aren’t still convinced to eat/serve rajma as a dip, we’d recommend you start off by trying this rajma hummus recipe by chef Vicky Ratnani. The recipe for this dip is similar to that of the classic hummus. 

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Make it an interesting filling for wraps
Besides adding rajma to dips, soups, and curries, you can even let it be the hero of different types of wraps with proper seasoning, of course. Make a rajma kheema or rajma masala and wrap it into a leftover chapati or tortilla. It makes for a quick lunch or snack. 

(Also check: Rajma Sandwich recipe by LF chef Gurdip Kohli Punj)

Now, these are just a few examples of the many exciting ways to cook with rajma. Stock up your pantry with different types of rajma and start finding out for yourself what these humble beans can do.

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