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Rajma Urad Dal Rasedar (Red Kidney Beans and Black Gram Lentils In A Creamy Gravy)

Posted Sep 15 2009 4:47pm

B eans and lentils are something you'll always find in my kitchen, which isn't surprising because they provide the major part of protein in the Indian vegetarian diet. Each part of India has its own favourite/ more used varieties of beans and lentils and very own way of cooking them, whether savoury or sweet. So it is not surprising we have so many different ways of cooking them.

This rasedar (rasedhar refers to a slightly thinner consistency of the gravy) is somewhat like the more famous Dal Makhani  (meaning "buttery lentils") or the Maa ki Dal/ Kali Dal, except it is has more of the beans and less of the lentils. It is also a little lighter on the calories from butter and cream.
Of course, this would mean that this rasedar wouldn't taste as rich (should I say buttery?), but that's not to say that it's any less delicious.

The original recipe calls for 4 tbsp ghee and a tbsp of cream and this is fine when you're cooking for a special occasion. That's a little too much fat for comfort (and health) for me to use in everyday cooking, however, so I have reduced the fat a bit in this recipe. You may like to keep it that way too or else use what I do, which is indicated within brackets on the list of ingredients.

This recipe is adapted from The Vegetarian Menu Book by Vasantha Moorthy.


3/4 cup rajma (red kidney beans)

1/3 cup whole/ sabut urad (whole black gram lentils)

1 large onion, chopped

1 large tomato chopped

1" piece of ginger, minced

1/2 tsp garlic paste

2 tsp ghee (I use 1 tsp ghee + 1 tsp oil/ 2 tsp oil)

1 tbsp light cream (I use low fat milk)

1 or 2 bay leaves

3/4 tsp chilli powder

1 1/2 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

2 tbsp chopped coriander


Soak the rajma (red kidney beans) in water overnight, or for about 8 hours at least) and the sabut urad (black gram lentils) for about 4 hours. Wash them and cook them together till quite soft (I do this in the pressure cooker). Mash the bean-lentil mixture so that it becomes a bit mushy. Keep aside.
Grind the onion and the tomato into a smooth paste. Keep aside.

In a pan, heat the oil/ ghee. Add the bay leaves, ginger and garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add the onion-tomato paste and sauté, over medium heat, till the raw smell of the onion disappears. Since there is less oil being used in this recipe, you might find the paste drying up. If this happens, add 2 or 3 tbsps of water and continue cooking.

Add all the spice powders, and sauté for about a minute. Now add the mashed bean-lentil mixture and the salt and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. If the rasedar is on the thicker side, thin it down a bit by adding about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water.
Allow the rasedar to simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cream/ milk and mix well. Take the pan off the heat.

Garnish with the chopped coriander and top with fresh butter or cream, if desired. Serve warm with chappathis, parathas or rice.
This recipe very amply serves 4 to 5 people.

This rasedar is my entry to Susan's My Legume Love Affair whose 13th helping is being hosted by my good friend Harini.

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