Rajma Chawal Bites is a vegan fusion Indian snack, a version of Arancini, made out of the Comfort food combination Rajma-Chawal and served bite-sized in the form of fritters. It’s the whole Rajma Chawal Achaar Dahi and Papad in a bite. This is an awesome recipe using leftovers.
Rajma Chawal (kidney beans & rice) is the comfort food of millions of Indian people. It is nourishing, protein-rich – a combination of kidney beans cooked in a gravy, eaten with rice. These fritters or pakode filled with cheese in between is a whole meal in a bite. This is an Indian version of Arancini. Arancini is an Italian appetizer – stuffed rice ball, often stuffed with cheese and deep fried. So this is fusion food with Indian flavors.
Rajma Chawal Bites / Arancini is a recipe made using leftovers. Instead of Rajma, one can also use lentils or dal. Most Indian cuisines have Rice and Dal or Rajma as a staple in their meals and so leftovers are a normal thing.
Rajma Chawal Bites makes for a great gameday snack, and is also quite easy and filling!! India gets ready today for the huge clash with New Zealand in the World Cup Cricket Semi-finals! It’s a game that will be watched the world over by over a billion people. A great game is watched with close family & friends and calls for lots of fun food & snacks. Here is one to impress your friends and enjoy the game day party!
This snack is gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. It is a whole plant-based meal in a bite.
Rajma Chawal Bites | Arancini
- 1 cup Rajma / Kidney beans
- 3 cups Water, for soaking Rajma
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1 qty Bay leaf
- 1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
- 2 qty Cloves
- 1 teaspoon Ginger, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic, chopped
- 1 Onion, small
- 1 qty Tomato, large
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon Kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves
Chawal / Rice
- 1 cup Rice
- 1 1/4 cup Water
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
Rajma Chawal Bites
- 1/4 cup Cheese (use Mozzerella or Amul cheese. For vegan version use vegan cheese)
- Oil for frying
- Breadcrumbs, if and as needed Optional
- 2 tablespoons Yogurt / Vegan yogurt
- 1 tablespoons Achaar / Indian pickle
- 4 qty Papads, roasted
- 1 tablespoon Coriander leaves, chopped
- Chawal / Rice:
- Cook rice either on regular stove, in pressure cooker or in InstantPot. Wash rice, add water and salt. Boil it till water evaporates and rice is cooked. You can also make this pot-in-pot using either InstantPot or any other pressure cooker. See the details for that in the post.
- Soak Rajma overnight. Wash and drain the water and pressure cook it for 3 whistles, adding salt and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder.
- Once it cools down, separate the Rajma and water. Don't discard the water yet, as it can be used in making the gravy.
- Heat a saucepan. Add the whole spices like bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves. Saute for a minute and remove it on a plate.Pro Tip: Dry roasting the whole spices enhances it's flavors quite a bit.
- Heat oil in the same saucepan. Add the whole spices (bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves), chopped garlic, ginger, onion at the interval of 30 seconds each.
- Saute it well. Add chopped tomatoes. Add salt, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, garam masala powder. Saute it further. Add a few teaspoons of water if needed, so that the spices don't get burnt.Please note: the Rajma already has salt added when boiled. So at this stage, add salt only for the gravy portion.
- Once the gravy is well cooked, add the Rajma and some of the saved water (from cooking rajma). Add kasuri methi. Bring it to a boil and then simmer it for 15 minutes. The Rajma masala is done.
Rajma Chawal Bites | Arancini
- Once the Rajma and Rice cool down, mix one cup each of cooked Rajma and Chawal in a bowl. Be sure not to take much of liquid from the Rajma. Mix well. The mixture shouldn't be too wet or dry – should be just moist enough. If necessary you can use breadcrumbs.
- Take a golfball sized mixture of Rajma Chawal mixture. Flatten it in between your palms. Add a marble sized ball of cheese (regular or vegan) in between. Seal the edges and form into a nice, smooth ball.
- Heat oil. Once hot, add one Rajma Chawal ball into the oil. When you see that it's being fried well and not disintegrating, you can add more balls into the oil. Fry until golden brown. Remove it in a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat until all the balls have been fried.
- On a plate, place a few dollops of yogurt/vegan yogurt. Place the Rajma Chawal Bites/Arancini on top of it. Smear the top with Achaar/Indian pickle, finish it with chopped coriander leaves and serve it with the side of roasted Papad bites.
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You can also make this pot-in-pot using either Instantpot or any other pressure cooker.
How to make Rajma Chawal with InstantPot pot-in-pot method?
- Soak Rajma overnight, wash it. Wash rice.
- In an instant pot, add 1 cup of Rajma 3 cups of water and salt directly into the inner pot.
- In another small container, add washed rice, 1 1/4 cup of water and salt.
- Place a stand insert in the inner pot where you added Rajma, and place the rice container on top of it.
- Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 7 minutes, placing the valve in sealing position.
- Once done, do an NPR (natural pressure release). Open the lid when the pressure is released.
- Remove rajma and rice, keep it aside.
- For Rajma Maasala, put the InstantPot on Saute’. Add oil, the whole spices, chopped garlic, ginger, onion at the interval of 30 seconds each.
- Saute it well. Add chopped tomatoes. Add salt, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, garam masala powder. Saute it further.
- Add a few teaspoons of water if needed, so that the spices don’t get burnt. Once the gravy is well cooked, add the Rajma and some of the saved water (from cooking rajma). Add kasuri methi.
- Bring it to a boil and then simmer it for 15 minutes. The Rajma masala is done.
How to make Rajma Chawal with regular Pressure Cooker pot-in-pot method?
Follow all of the recipe mentioned above for the InstantPot version. Instead of pressure cooking it on high for 7 minutes, put the pressure cooker whistle on and cook on medium until 3 whistles. Let the cooker cool down before opening it. The rest of the steps also remain the same.