Different Varieties Of Rajma And How To Cook Them Properly
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It's a unique bean noted for its high nutritional value, whether you call it kidney beans or rajma. The major reason this bean is nicknamed a "kidney bean" is because it resembles one. Rajma is one of the most popular beans in India, with a nutty flavour and a musky aroma, and the most famous dish cooked with it is Rajma Chawal. This bean has a strong flavour and is abundant in protein, as well as amino acids and minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins B and K. These beans have a strong nutritional profile, which forces us to prefer them above other beans. Most of you have probably noticed that Rajma has a deep crimson to maroon colour, takes a long time to cook, and is considered to be highly gaseous. However, there are various more types of Rajma that most people are unaware of. In this essay, we will discuss all of these rajma varieties and how to cook them properly.

The two varieties of rajma that we see on a regular basis are Lal rajma and Chitra rajma. But did you know that rajma comes in a variety of flavours? Most people are unaware of the existence of pinto beans, navy beans, black kidney beans, and Jammu rajma. Each type of rajma has its own set of advantages and cooking times, as well as different flavours and textures. Learn more about their cooking and flavour profile by reading on.

1. Lal Rajma

It is the most common type of kidney bean and has a rich red colour. It has a thick and firm texture and is high in iron and dietary fibre. It has a low Glycemic Index and is, therefore, suitable for diabetics. To make this rajma, soak the rajma overnight or for at least 8-10 hours.

2. Chitra Rajma

It has a light brown colour with speckles and red dots or lines on it and is often gathered in the Himalayan region. This rajma has a moderate flavour and is commonly found in Kashmiri cuisine. Chitra rajma is a softer variety of Lal rajma that is high in vitamins and protein. This rajma cooks faster than Lal rajma and can be steeped for 4-6 hours before cooking.

3. Jammu

This rajma is smaller in size, has a glossy appearance, and is supposed to be highly aromatic. Jammu rajma has about the same nutritional profile as Lal & Chitra Rajma, but it is reported to be sweeter. This variety of rajma must be soaked for 6-8 hours before cooking in order to obtain the full flavour of the meal.

4. Pinto Beans

This bean is not of Indian origin, and it is most commonly found in Mexican and South American cuisine. They are brown to crimson in colour and longer than the other kidney beans. These beans have a strong flavour and are typically used in salads and other similar meals.

Cooking Tips

It is recommended that rajma be soaked for as long as possible before cooking. The soaking duration should ideally be 10-12 hours or overnight, as this softens the rajma and helps to achieve the desired texture and flavour. Also, if they were not soaked overnight, make sure they are soaked for 2-4 hours in hot and boiling water. Another piece of advice is to never soak them in baking soda, as this can alter the flavour of the rajma.