Rajma, Rice, and bibaDa

This happens to be a Punjabi dish, and my recollection of eating this in Maharashtra and Gujarat is in a combination of Rajma, Rice, and bibaDa.

bibaDa (बिबड़) is a Jowar pappad (ज्वारी, sorghum pappad) - certainly can't get it anywhere in the US, nor it is easily available in India, have to travel to interior towns in Maharashtra to find someone who even knows about this. Like pappads, it is a crispy snack, can be baked or fried. I prefer the baked variety - put this in a toaster oven, watch it very carefully, one or two seconds more in the toaster oven, and it will burn completely to black. Cooking time in a toaster oven is around 30-60 seconds - keeping a watch all the time. It has a smoky, crispy taste, and closer to a tortilla chip than to the more popular chickpea pappads.

Rajma (राजमा) is kidney beans - an amazing store house of good nutrients - high soluble fiber, fat-free high quality proteins, minerals, and lots more as a search on the web reveals, and in the curry dish below, with rice and bidaDa, it tastes great too!

Rajma (राजमा) Curry

Time: 2 hours
Serves: 4-6

Red kidney beans soaked overnight - 2 cups
Onions, finely chopped - 1-2 large
Tomatoes - 1-2 large, chopped
Ginger and Garlic - 1 tablespoon each, finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - as needed
Coriander Powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin Powder - 1 tablespoon
Garam Masala - 1 tablespoon
Oil - 3 tablespoons
salt to taste
finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
5-7 cups water

Soak kidney beans in double the amount of water in a covered pot, leave overnight in a cool place. Then drain the soaked red kidney beans and wash them well. Then cook them. Put beans in a pot, with again double the amount of water, bring to boil, continue cooking over low heat for 1 to 2 hours, until beans are fully cooked, and some beans may even split open. A pressure-cooker if available should be used here for faster cooking.

Heat the oil in a on medium level and add the cumin seeds.
As soon as they start crackling, add chopped ginger-garlic. Fry briefly.
Add the chopped onions and fry till they are golden brown.
Add all the spice powders, fry for a minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes. Fry till the oil separates.

Add the cooked red kidney beans along with desired amount of water from the cooked beans pot, add salt, mix well and cook on low to medium level for about 15 minutes, to reduce the amount of water and make for thicker curry.

For a richer taste, add 2 tablespoons of butter and cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve over hot rice, garnish with finely chopped cilantro leaves.

And, if you can get it, serve this along with a bibaDa - the jowar pappad!