Raungi Masala(Curried Black-eyed Beans)

Noor seemed to really enjoy her dinner today. I had made raungi after a long while, and she did not seem to remember what it was called. But after a couple of spoonfuls she said, “I would love to eat raungi for dinner everyday” !! and in fact asked for a second helping ; a first with curried beans of any kind.

I can’t say I have noticed before that she likes this curry, and I was pleased to see this newly acquired taste, since until now she has always seemed happiest with varan or daal with tadka.

This is another of my mother’s recipes that I am faithful to, in that I don’t make (I think !) any variations to it. I like to go for exactly the same taste that I remember from many yummy meals of raungi eaten with hot phulkas or jeera rice, or sometimes a peas pulav.

This is how I seem to remember she cooks this curry.

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Raungi Masala/Curried Black-eyed Beans

1 cup (200 ml measure) of raungi /lobia/black-eyed beans

2 medium sized onions (or 3 small ones), chopped fine

4-5 tbsp of tomato puree

1 tsp of grated ginger

1 tsp of grated garlic

1/2 tsp each of ajwain and jeera seeds

1/2 tsp of turmeric, coriander powder, and kashmiri chilli powder(use a stronger chilli powder if you like)

salt to taste (I would add about 1 tsp, and a little more)

3-4 tbsp of sunflower oil

1/2 tsp of garam masala

For garnishing1 tbsp of chopped, fresh, green coriander or 1/2 a tsp of kasuri methi

Soak the raungi overnight with the salt. The next day, pressure cook it in 4 cups of water (including the water the beans were soaked in) till all the beans are soft but not mushy i.e they should still hold their shape.

In a frying pan, heat the oil and add the jeera and ajwain. When you can smell the aroma of the jeera, add the onions and fry on moderate heat till they are quite brown. A minute or two before they reach this state, add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry these too along with the onions. Now add the tomato puree, and fry the masala again for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining spices and fry everything together till the oil starts to rise above the masala. Add this masala to the beans, stir thoroughly, and add another cup of water if the gravy seems too thick. Boil everything together for 7-8 minutes, then pressure cook again (till there are 2-3 whistles).

Take the cooker off the heat, and leave to cool. After all the presssure has been released, open the cooker and add some fresh, green coriander if you have some, or a little kasuri methi.

I often prefer this curry to rajma or chole; I feel it has as rich a taste, yet feels lighter than curries made with those other beans.

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