Updated: Feb 17
Rajma is sort of like an Indian version of mac and cheese - it's comfort food at its finest. I used to personally avoid ordering it from Indian restaurant menus, as they normally make it with some kind of cream.
Milk and salt do not combine well together, per Ayurveda's ancient food wisdom. Incompatible food combinations like that tend to cause disruptions to your digestion, which then affects the rest of your being adversely.
But opting for vegan options to make old favorite foods has been an amazing experience during the pandemic period, to create all new ways to enjoy old favorites without suffering the consequences of the old ways.
Rajma is made out of red kidney beans: one of healthiest beans you can have as a source of protein, with less fat, but comparable protein as other types of beans. They have less cholesterol, too, which makes eating them a great way to lower your risk of heart disease and generally to improve your heart health. Instead of the usual dairy cream, I add coconut or (homemade) almond milk to give it an extra restaurant-like richness.
2 teaspoons ghee or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon kalonji seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon hing
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
1 teaspoon dry mango powder
4 small sweet heirloom tomatoes (omit if you have autoimmune conditions)
1 2/3 cup red kidney beans, soaked overnight and pressure cooked
1 teaspoon Himalayan pink rock salt
2 1/2 cups coconut or almond milk (or water)
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves for garnish
Heat ghee in deep dish pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and bay leaf, cook until the seeds are fragrant, about 1 minutes. Add kalonji, hing, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, fenugreek leaves and dry mango powder. Mix well. Then add heirloom tomatoes (if using) and cook until tomatoes are saucy, a couple minutes. Stir once.
Add kidney beans, salt and coconut milk (or almond milk or water). Cover the pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until you can easily mash the beans.
Garnish with parsley leaves and eat warm.
Close your eyes and connect with your heart before eating it. Say a prayer of thanks in your heart. The more gratitude you experience, the more your heart expands, and the more blessings come to you.
To learn how to make this and other wonderful recipes (and cook along in your kitchen), as well as immerse yourself in Ayurveda lifestyle, do also consider joining The Ancient Way's Wellness Ambassador Program starting March 26th, 2022, to heal yourself and spread the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda in your community.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ANANTA RIPA AJMERA is founder and CEO of The Ancient Way and Advisor of Ayurveda at THE WELL, a modern wellness club that brings together world-class doctors and master healers for a more balanced you. She is author of The Ayurveda Way, a compilation of 108 simple, doable practices for better sleep, less stress, optimal digestion and more.