Saturday, 14 January 2012




     1)    Rajma (sundried peanut colored red beans) – 250 gm.

     2)    Mature cucumber tree fruit – 3 Nos. OR green mango – a peeled side slice

     3)    Hot red chili powder – 1¼ teaspoons
     4)    Garlic – 6 cloves
     5)    Coconut oil 1 tablespoon

To Cook:

          Soak the beans in water overnight. Drain and transfer to a pressure cooker. Pour in 2½ times its volume of water. Close the lid and set on high heat. As soon as you hear the second whistle, turn down the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool naturally.

          When all the steam has subsided, open the cooker and check to see of the rajma is well cooked. It should be quite soft and should have burst open. Sometimes aged rajma may take much longer to cook. If so, close the lid again and cook till you hear 2 more whistles. Set aside.

          Cut off the tip with stem of the cucumber tree fruit and chop it (or the mango slice) to 3 to 4 pieces. Peel the garlic cloves. Set a thick vessel or saucepan on the stove. Pour in the coconut oil and tip in the garlic. Stir till the garlic turns golden brown.

          Now add the cucumber tree fruit (or mango) pieces and sprinkle the chili powder. Stir well and pour in the rajma along with all its stock. Tip in the salt and stir nicely. If the gravy is too thick, add a little water. Taste and add more salt if required. Although you can serve rajma bendi immediately, the curry tastes even more delicious if it is rested for 6 hours or more.

          Serve with a plate full of hot soft par boiled rice. If you pour a dollop of thick curd or some buttermilk on the plate of bendi rice, the heat of the chili is beautifully mellowed and you get a real gourmet taste.

So do cook and enjoy!!!


     1)    After trying out this recipe, make it a point to cook in larger quantities, for the bendi can be reheated twice a day (add a bit of water if too thick) and tastes even better the second day.

     2)    Rajma bendi goes well as a side dish to rice gruel, porridge or cherupayar kanji and also as a dipping dish for appos, chappatis, dosas, roasted idlis, machkats, soyyea polos, vellappams, patthiris and bread.

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