When I was in Bangalore, we had a nice cook who made a tasty dill leaves bhaji with only dill and loads of garlic, slightly sweetened with sugar. It was part of my post-pregnancy diet and I especially loved this bhaji. Dill, bottle gourd and garlic were some of the things regularly featured for lunch, as apparently they improved lactation. We had fresh greens sold right at our doorstep by this young woman who carried all sorts of green leaves in her bamboo basket and would knock on our door every morning. And there was a sabzi-wallah (vegetable vendor) with fresh vegetables in his cart at the building everyday. So we cooked with fresh vegetables every single day. I so wish I could have that now. Such a blessing to have those conveniences!
Coming back to the recipe, dill adds a lovely flavor to any dish. It cooks down really small though. I remember Vijayamma, the cook, making the bhaji with two big bunches of dill just for me and it'd be done in about three bites! Adding rajma makes it heartier, apart from upping the nutrition value too. For the salad version, I prefer this sans garam masala/red chili. For the bhaji version to be had with tawa rotis, I upped the heat and added the spice powder.
1 16 oz can Red Kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or 1/2 cup dried kidney beans)
1 big bunch of dill leaves, washed and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
5-6 large garlic cloves, smashed and chopped fine
2 green chilies/serrano peppers, chopped
1/2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Optional: 1/2 tsp red chili powder and 1 tsp garam masala/curry powder
If using dried kidney beans, soak in water overnight, drain and then pressure cook for 2-3 whistles until cooked through.
Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic and green chillies and quick stir for 5-10 seconds.
Add onion and fry until translucent.
Add chopped dill and fry for another minute or two.
Add kidney beans and season with salt, red chili powder (if using), sugar and lime juice.
Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes, for the beans to absorb the flavors.
If using, add garam masala at the end and give it a quick stir.
Serve with rotis or eat as is, like a salad.