I was sitting in my school canteen with my friends when she came towards us with a radiant glow. I could notice her pupils becoming larger when she excitedly invited us, a gang of 5 girls, to her place for lunch on her birthday.
Her name was Shivani, and we were BFFs at that time! 🙂 It was Shivani’s 14th Birthday. We all screamed and said YES to the party. It was more of a get-together than a party. Her birthday was on Sunday, so no school on that day, and that meant I had to go from my home to her place.
I could still remember that mobile phones were not all that common in those days. Hence, I called her on landline before I left my home, to tell her that I will see her in 30 minutes.
My elder sister dropped me at Shivani’s place on time, and instructed me to call her after the party so that she could come and pick me up.
I promised her to call, and blinked my eyes childishly and wrinkled my nose. I squeezed my hands in joy, and then started walking towards Shivani’s main door with my arms waving.
I rang the doorbell and waited for someone to open the door. There was a scent in the air. I closed my eyes to feel the magical aroma of food, while I waited at the door.
I wanted to follow that exotic aroma. And at that moment I felt like I am just like one of those mice who followed the bagpiper’s magical tune blindly.
I came out of my fantasy land when her younger brother ‘Arjun’, who was 12, opened the door. He welcomed me, and showed the way to Shivani’s room.
Shivani’s room was really elegant — perfectly decorated from a teenager’s point of view. You could clearly see her passion for beautiful decor in her room.
The room was painted light pink, and there was a big alluring painting on the wall behind her tidy study table.
She loved to paint and wanted to become a very renowned painter like Picasso. Woaaah! Childhood dreams have no boundaries! 😀
On the opposite wall, there was a decent sized window through which the bright sunlight gazed. Strikingly, a portion of the third wall was covered with a poster of ‘Saurav Ganguli’ (an Indian cricketer). Unlike me, she was a huge fan of cricket!
The interior of her room indicated her charming and loving nature. She adorned her room with some colorful ribbons and balloons for the party. I must say the birthday decorations made her room even more beautiful.
I greeted my other friends with a wide grin as I entered the room, and immediately I asked for Shivani.
While I was talking to my other friends, Shivani came from behind and stood at my back with the hands wide open to shock me, but I instantly turned around. She started lifting her hair to show me as if she was not in the mood of giving me a surprise shock!
Believe me, she was an expert at that. And to be frank, I got scared by her so many times before. 😉 I opened my arms wide and hugged her tight to wish her a very Happy Birthday.
Arjun came with a tray of snacks and drinks for starters, while we girls were lost in our gossips and giggles. Being girls, we all stopped giggling and started whispering as soon as we saw him.
Shortly after Arjun left the room, we jumped on the plates as if we hadn’t seen any food for years. It wasn’t considered rude in friendship.
Ohh! Those days were so good. We did not care much for well manners at least in front of friends—friendship felt just so pure in school days.
On her birthday, Shivani entertained us with some loud pop music which naturally made us all dance. While we were chatting, I saw a beautiful woman in a blue dress. Her eyes were bright, her hair long. Her face was radiant. She was indeed so pretty. It was clear that Shivani got all her charm and beauty from her Mom.
We glanced at her and teased Shivani, saying that her mom is much more gorgeous than her. Much more prettier than her! She got excited to hear that, and said, “she is ‘MY MOM’ after all!” 😉 I wonder how Shivani would have reacted had I compared her with some other girl than her Mom 😉
After about 45 minutes her mother entered the room to welcome us with a smiling face. Shivani introduced us to her mom, and we all chatted for a while.
While leaving the room, her mom said that the lunch was ready. Shivani promised her to be at the lunch table in 5 minutes with the gang. Her mother happily nodded.
While at the lunch table, I realized that everything was so impressive on the table. And there was puri, jeera aloo, matar pulao, matar paneer, rajma masala, and vegetable raita.
We all served ourselves flooding our plates, and went back to her room. I took my first bite of hot puri dipped in ‘Rajma Masala’. Oh My Goodness, the taste was sensational. I had never tasted that kind of a delectable and awesome Rajma Masala before. Oh! It was beyond YUM!
We all had an awesome lunch, and enjoyed like there’s no tomorrow. After having an awesome day we all came back to our respective homes.
But something happened on that day. After that day I could not forget the taste of that Rajma made by Shivani’s mom. When I insisted my mom so much to make me the same dish, my mom had to call Shivani’s mom to get the recipe.
Then one Sunday I smelled a flavour really nice and familiar coming from our kitchen, while me and my elder sister were busy gossiping.
Basically it was Punjabi Rajma masala I was mad about! 🙂
I just hugged my mom tightly, and asked her to serve me right away. I closed my eyes to savour the experience, and it was exactly the same Rajma Masala I had at Shivani’s place. Just so so delish!
When I grew up I learned to cook the very same Rajma masala from my mom. Today I am sharing that same Rajma Masala recipe with you.
Rajma is a quintessential North Indian delicacy. This is an aromatic curry which is cooked in tomato, rich and creamy spicy sauce. This is served along with flat bread or rice.
It is a nutritious kidney bean dish, which is so tantalizing and delicious at the same time.
This curry is absolutely delish and has the quality to please everyone regardless of age and gender. It is also an amazing side dish for parties and get-togethers.
I hope you will seriously love this and will give it a try at one of your parties too 🙂
Wash kidney beans with fresh water and add to pressure cooker with salt and whole garam masala (bay leaf, black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick), and 3 cups of water.
Cover the lid and pressure cook till the pressure cooker whistles 4-5 times. Reduce heat to low and cook it on low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the cooker cool down.
When the cooker has cooled off, open the lid and pour kidney beans into a bowl. Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds,and let them splutter. Add onion, ginger-garlic paste and saute for 4-5 minutes. Now add chopped tomatoes and cook until it oozes oil.
Saute for 2 minutes and add salt and sugar. Stir well and add boiled kidney beans along with with 1 cup of water and cook on high heat for 2 minutes.
Reduce heat and add kasuri methi and garam masala powder and mix well. Cook covered on low heat for at least another 15-20 minutes.
Cooking on low heat would make it more flavorous, however, if you are in hurry cook for at least 5 minutes on medium heat.
Garnish with chopped ginger, chopped onion, tomato and coriander leaves.
Serve hot with any of your favorite bread or rice. Enjoy!
Happy Cooking! 🙂
- red kidney beans (rajma), soaked in water for overnight - 2 cups
- onion, ginger garlic paste - ½ cup
- green chilies, chopped - 2
- tomato, chopped - 2
- turmeric powder - ½ tsp
- cumin powder - ½ tsp
- coriander powder - 1 tsp
- pinch of garam masala powder (optional)
- red chili powder - 1 tsp (or as per taste)
- cumin seeds - 1 tsp
- kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) - 2 tbsp, crushed
- olive oil - 4 tbsp
- salt as per taste
- sugar - 1 tsp
- cinnamon stick - 1
- cloves - 5
- black cardamom - 1
- bay leaf - 1
- Wash kidney beans with fresh water and add to pressure cooker with salt and whole garam masala (bay leaf, black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick), and 3 cups of water.
- Cover the lid and pressure cook till the pressure cooker whistles 4-5 times. Reduce heat to low and cook it on low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the cooker cool down.
- When the cooker has cooled off, open the lid and pour kidney beans into a bowl. Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds,and let them splutter. Add onion, ginger-garlic paste and saute for 4-5 minutes. Now add chopped tomatoes and cook until it oozes oil.
- When tomato is cooked, add chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, green chiles along with 2 tbsp water.
- Saute for 2 minutes and add salt and sugar. Stir well and add boiled kidney beans along with with 1 cup of water and cook on high heat for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and add kasuri methi and garam masala powder and mix well. Cook covered on low heat for at least another 15 minutes.
- Cooking on low heat would make it more flavorous, however, if you are in hurry cook for at least 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Garnish with chopped ginger, chopped onion, tomato and coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with any of your favorite bread or rice. Enjoy!