It all started with a craze for Rajma Chawal (Rice); an Indian dish which is my favourite till date and I can have it n number of times in a week. When I was in London I was already missing my favourite dish and one night I dream of having Rajma Chawal in my London apartment and next day the hunt began.
As a child I can remember myself sitting on the kitchen slab when my mom is cooking and I know how to play with Indian spices. I have prepared few Indian dishes like Okra, Yellow Pulses etc. myself in my London apartment and they all went fine in fact they tasted good. Then I thought of an experiment where I planned to convert British baked beans available at any grocery store in London into Indian style Rajma.
So, I went to Tesco store near monument street and got myself a can of Heinz baked beans in tomato sauce with a thought that I don’t have to put in much effort provided tomatoes are already there but this experiment of mine goes wrong and I end up having Rajma tasting like Rajma dipped in sweet tomato soup. It was not my fault; it was the sweetness the Heinz baked beans have got. I tried putting in loads of chillies, tabasco sauce and more Indian spices but the sweetness didn’t vanished. It was a complete failure.
I didn’t give up; next day marked my next attempt which was with Tesco’s Red Kidney Beans in water. It only had water and salt. I then finely chopped 2 onions, 2 tomatoes, 6-7 green chillies, a small root of ginger and some fresh green coriander. And here is my method.
- In pan heat 2 tbsp oil, I used sunflower oil, add cumin seeds till they pop and add finely chopped onions.
- Add tomatoes when onions turn light brown and ginger followed by chillies.
- Fry them with salt, red chilli powder, dry coriander powder and Indian Garam Masala.
- Pour in one can of Tesco’s red kidney beans and add 2 cups of water. Cook for 5-10 minutes till the beans soak the spices and flavours. Your dish is ready to be served.
- You have with you Rajma which tastes like it has been prepared in an Indian kitchen.
I had my Rajma with rice and curd and Mango pickles and it tasted fantastic. This is how I satisfied my craving. After this day I prepared Rajma quite a few times and each time it tasted better than the last time and got appreciation from my mate sharing apartment with me and a friend who visited our place.