Thursday, December 16, 2010

Red Bean (Rajma) and Sesame Dip or Rajma made Hummus style

I have surfed food blogs for a while and hoped to participate in some of the events, whose round-ups I'd come across once-in-a-while and did wonder how it comes about. And then... I serendipitously stumbled upon Priya of Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes, who is hosting My Legume Love Affair - #30 (MLLA #30), an event originally conceived by Susan of The Well- Seasoned Cook. So here goes my second blog and my first entry into food blog events! I also wish to thank Priya for listing out a whole series of events and their deadlines on her page.

I've always been partial to pulses, beans, lentils....members of the leguminosae family. Its a rare day when I don't use them in my daily ritual of creating food for my family. I have many favourites when it comes to how I like them cooked and I think this would be true of many of you.

Hummus bi tahini is my all time favourite dip where 'Hummus' refers to chickpeas and 'tahini' is simply sesame seed paste. It goes with bread, chappati, chips and is perfect all by itself. I used to have an almost endless supply of tahini paste from the gulf, till my parents returned for good and created a need for making tahini from scratch. I think that may have been one of  the first recipes I searched for on the net. 

The last couple of weeks have been hectic and amidst the hurry-burry, I had an urge to make rajma curry (for my entry into MLLA). The rajma (red bean) was soaked and cooked and just didn't have the will to go through with the curry. I let it rest and began thinking afresh. I spotted my jar of sesame seeds (ellu/ til) and thought.....'why not????'

So here goes Rajma bi Tahini: (not sure what rajma is in Arabic)


Rajma - 250gms
Sesame seeds (white)- 50 gms
Garlic - 3-4 cloves
Lemon juice - 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Olive oil - 4 tbsp 

Soak the rajma in warm to hot water overnight, preferably in a hot pack. Pressure cook for 6 to 7 whistles, allow the cooker to cool before opening. The Rajma should be soft and crushable to paste with a spoon.

Lightly roast the sesame seeds till they appear golden and set them aside on a plate to cool. Once the seeds have cooled to room temperature, load them in a dry grinder and pulverize. As the seeds get crushed they release their oil and become a cohesive mass, not 'powdery'. You mar have to keep scraping the sides of the mixie jar till you get a smooth textured paste. Add the olive oil and run the mixie and your tahini paste is ready.

Tahini paste

In the wet grinder jar, add the cooked, cooled rajma, tahini paste, garlic, salt, lemon juice and blend to smoothness. Add some water if required.

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish. I used some whole cooked rajma for garnish and left out the olive oil. I refrigerated the rajma bi tahini and served it for dinner with lightly toasted bread and carrot-cucumber-onion salad. The dip was creamy and tasted good. The Mr. gave it full marks but more importantly my daughter kept asking for more and she's all of 16 months.

I hope I have all in order before rushing this to Priya and Susan for MLLA #30.


  1. Wow! It was a big hit! The Mrs. gave it a 2 thumbs up! :) keep them coming Vidya