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.

[ctt template=”5″ link=”d3r63″ via=”yes” ]Realisation: Sometimes you need to move away from something to get closer to it.[/ctt]

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33 thoughts on “R is for… Rajma #AtoZChallenge

  1. 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)

  2. 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. 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. 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. 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!!

  6. 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. 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).

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

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