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Posted at: Mar 19, 2017, 12:57 AM; last updated: Mar 19, 2017, 12:57 AM (IST)FOOD TALK

Move over Tex-Mex, hail desi

Pushpesh Pant

One lives and learns. We have grown up with the belief that the Tex-Mex classic ‘Chilli Con Carne’ can’t be prepared without the kidney beans enriching the minced beef. While minced mutton and chicken may be allowed as a substitute, we are now told that the beans, our beloved rajma, are dispensable. As the name translates, the essentials are just two ‘chillies and meat’. However, we shall never let down a faithful old friend for the sake of pedants and purists. And Rajma-Keema is what we can die and live for!

The flavourful and nourishing dish, soul food as we call it, is easy to prepare. And forget any diverting details about a ‘ragout’. Enjoy the desi rendering with any accompaniment.



1 cup rajma

300 g minced mutton

4-5 tomatoes (blanched and pureed)

1 tbsp garlic-ginger paste

1 bay leaf

1 inch piece of cinnamon

1 brown cardamom

2 cloves

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

Salt to taste

¼ cup oil


Soak the rajma overnight. Drain and keep aside. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and put in the whole spices. When these begin to change colour, add the mince and stir fry it on medium flame until it browns. Add ginger-garlic paste and mix; sprinkle powdered spices along with salt, sugar and pureed tomatoes. Add the beans and tomato ketchup with a cup of hot water. Pressure cook for 10 minutes. Uncover, adjust seasoning and enjoy with rice or parantha. Try it on a toast too.


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