R is for… Rajma #AtoZChallenge



I wouldn’t be a Punjabi worth my salt if I didn’t mention Rajma in my list of favorite foods would I now!

If you’ve ever had a Punjabi neighbour, chances are that multiple whistles of a pressure cooker would have woken you up on the one Sunday you got to sleep in. Because Sunday lunch in most vegetarian Punjabi houses means Rajma-Chawal or Chole-Chawal or Kaali Dal-Chawal. A Boondi Raita and lots of sliced Onions were the usual accompaniments, which meant collective onion breath and everyone sleeping off the lunch till evening.

The secret of getting your Rajma to taste just the right Punjabi type is in buying the right Rajma (buy the big purplish red ones) slow cooking it on a low flame, after the beans have cooked through, with a big dollop of ghee as it slow cooks. My Mum has never used any special Rajma Masala while making hers and neither do I.

When I turned a teenager I shunned all typical Punjabi food, so while the family ate Rajma I would be eating Toast or just the Boondi Raita. This shunning of Punjabi food continued way past my teens, till I married a South Indian.  Now some Sundays see my neighbours been woken up by my pressure cooking whistling away as my Rajma cooks.


While my Dad is a Punjabi, Mum is a Rajasthani.

No, it wasn’t a love marriage it was a traditional arranged marriage as both the families had one thing in common, they were both Brahmins. Yes, Punjabi Brahmins do exist * grin *

So growing up we had a mix of both the cultures in terms of festivals, celebrations and of course food. Once again I shunned every food that was Rajasthani, be it the delicious Gatte ki Sibzi or the Ker Sangri or the Kanji Wada.

Marriage outside the community has brought me closer to both the cultures I ran away from. My husband enjoys Gatte ki Subzi and I love cooking it for him. My hand automatically reaches out for a Bandhni or Lehariya saree for any special occasion and I keep track of all the festivals be it Teej, Gangaur or Baisakhi and celebrate them in my own way.


  1. Mayuri Nidigallu


    April 21, 2017 at 7:55 am

    I love Rajma too. Especially in the rainy weather. One trick I’ve learnt is that if the Rajma remains hard after many whistles ( it can despite the best type of Rajma) just dunk in a tray of ICE CUBES and pressure cook it for one last whistle. Believe me this works ( was shared by another Punjabi Brahmin)

    1. Mayuri Nidigallu

      Mayuri Nidigallu

      April 24, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Hahahaha! This fellow Punjabi Brahmin tip is worth giving a shot! Thanks for reading, and sharing, Sunita ji:)

  2. Mayuri Nidigallu


    April 21, 2017 at 7:58 am

    I’ve always loved Rajma. Not that I’m a Punjabi but growing up, made made rajma a lot and today I do that too. VT is from Haryana and the food at his place is influenced by Punjab so there is no escape. 😉 I love when you said that some times to move closer, we need to step away. Beautiful thought.

  3. Mayuri Nidigallu

    Amrita Basu (Misra)

    April 21, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Such a lovely post .Rajma is a favourite at my home too.But the cooking time makes me a little stressed .I first had it in Delhi from a PunjabI friends tiffin and have never forgotten the taste. Punjabi food is very comforting.Distance sometimes does make the heart grow fonder

  4. Mayuri Nidigallu


    April 21, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Top of the comfort food list <3 That's where rajma is for me.
    So agree with that last line you said, about moving away from something to get closer to it <3

  5. Mayuri Nidigallu

    Tina Basu

    April 21, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    I know some people who drool with the name of Rajma Chawal as if they were given a 10 course meal at a 5 star for free! I love how you guys have broken norms and traditions and wed outside the same community – I mom would have had a brain and heart faliure if i even proposed something like that, forget about an arranged one!!

    1. Mayuri Nidigallu

      Mayuri Nidigallu

      April 24, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Rajma is to Punjabi what Macher Jhol is to Bengali’s :))) Thanks for reading, Tina:)

  6. Mayuri Nidigallu


    April 21, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I love Rajma and I am a true Punjabi. I can have rajma any time, anywhere. Agree with you on Punjabi food, every other day it is either rajma, channa or kadhi at our house. On the other hand, Deepak hates Rajma and I keep on telling him that he is not a true Punjabi. I can actually write a post on Rajma too as I have many Rajma stories. 🙂
    A fun post Mayuri:)

  7. Mayuri Nidigallu

    Mocktail Mommies

    April 21, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    I was introduced to Rajma during my 3 year stint at Delhi. Slowly started to savour the taste & still enjoy making it at home.

  8. Mayuri Nidigallu


    April 21, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Rajma is one thing that’s popularized by hindi films! I still have to try this one out.


  9. Mayuri Nidigallu

    shubhangi srikanth

    April 21, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    What a delightful mix of cultures your family is! The list of lip-smacking food must be never ending, no? And yea, coming to Rajma, Punjabi or not, who doesn’t love Rajma!!
    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

  10. Mayuri Nidigallu

    Roma Gupta Sinha

    April 21, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Isn’t that cultural mix at home really impressive. Undoubtedly it has enriched you severalfold. Yeah and I love Rajma Chaawal and Gatte ki Sabji equally too

    1. Mayuri Nidigallu

      Mayuri Nidigallu

      April 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks for the lovely compliment, Roma:)

  11. Mayuri Nidigallu

    Cheryl Sterling

    April 21, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Being an American, I am unfamiliar with these foods, but the comments have piqued my curiosity. I will have to do some recipe searching. Any food with such high praise is worth investigating. Thank you for opening my eyes (and taste buds).

    1. Mayuri Nidigallu

      Mayuri Nidigallu

      April 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      That is such a lovely compliment, Cheryl. Thank you for reading my posts:)

  12. Mayuri Nidigallu


    April 21, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Rajma… it’s my husband’s favorite… offer him anytime and he will never say a No!
    And Punjabi Brahmijns??!! I didn’t know about them!


    1. Mayuri Nidigallu

      Mayuri Nidigallu

      April 24, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      Now you do!:))) Thanks for reading, GG:))

  13. Mayuri Nidigallu

    Shilpa Garg

    April 22, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Ah! Rajma-Chawal. This is the national lunch at our home. And my mom’s makes it the best. This reminds me that it’s been long since I ate rajma made by mom! Must tell her to cook it for us one of these days!

    1. Mayuri Nidigallu

      Mayuri Nidigallu

      April 24, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Yes, Mum’s make the best Rajma ever! Thanks for reading, Shilpa:)

  14. Mayuri Nidigallu

    Swathi Shenoy

    April 22, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Ah Rajma ❤️ my PG aunty cooks prepares mouth watering Rajma. Just the mention of it makes me oh, so hungry!

    1. Mayuri Nidigallu

      Mayuri Nidigallu

      April 24, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks for reading, Swathi 🙂

  15. Mayuri Nidigallu


    April 23, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    I absolutely love Rajma… long time since I made the dish… should put some in the cooker today 😀
    Your family is such a beautiful mix of cultures 😀

  16. Mayuri Nidigallu

    Ishieta @ Isheeria's

    April 24, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    I LOVE RAJMA! It is THE meal, the FIRST meal cooked in my home upon my return from my travels! it is comfort food, my mom makes the best Rajma according to me 🙂 & i have always had the best of conversations over Rajma & etc! 🙂 I feel you have had such a unique life, that everything you share is to be cherished!

  17. Mayuri Nidigallu

    Mayuri Nidigallu

    April 24, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Thanks for the lovely things you always say, Ish:)

  18. Mayuri Nidigallu

    Anmol Rawat

    April 25, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Wow. Two so diverse communities. 🙂
    And yes, I too love Rajma Chawal! Not a Punjabi, but it’s droolworthy 😀

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