Rajma Chawal

Rajma is a flavourful and delicious curry that is made with red kidney beans. Indian cuisine is a rich source of fibre and protein. High-fibre content improves digestive tract health. Magnesium and folate make it healthy for the heart.


  • Ghee or oil – 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1½ tsp
  • Onions – 1¼ cup (cubed)
  • Tomatoes – 1 cup (chopped)
  • Rajma or Kidney beans – ¾ cup
  • Water – 2½ cup (as per requirement)
  • Ginger julienned – 1 tsp
  • Green chili – 1 (slit)
  • Salt – As per requirement
  • Cilantro or coriander leaves – 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Cream – 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Red chili powder – ½ to ¾ tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1¼ tsp
  • Dry fenugreek leaves – ¾ tsp (optional)
  • Cumin or Jeera – ½ tsp
  • Bay Leaf – 1 (small)

Preparation of Rajma (Kidney Beans):

  • Wash rajma properly and soak in a lot of water for 8 hours.
  • Drain the water and rinse the rajma well. Add in 2 cups of freshwater.
  • Add them in a pressure cooker and cook them until they are not mushy but soft. For a regular pressure cooker, it will take 4 whistles on a medium flame. In case of an instant pot, high pressure for 18 minutes will do the trick. The pressure should be naturally released.
  • If you have done it the right way, the rajma will become soft. It should not even be slightly hard. If they are hard, cook them for 2 more whistles. Also, save the water. It will be used later.

Preparing the Rajma (Kidney Beans)

  • Take a pan and add water to it. Heat the water until it becomes slightly warm.
  • Then, add cubed onions to the water and boil it for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions become transparent.
  • Drain all the water. Let the onion cool down and then make a fine paste. Set the paste aside.
  • In the same jar, make a tomato puree. To get a thicker gravy, you can add 2 tbsp of cooked rajma in the blender with the tomatoes.
  • Take another pan and add oil in it.
  • Heat the oil and then add bay leaf and cumin. Sauté them until they start to sizzle.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté it until the raw smell goes away and a nice aroma comes out.
  • Add the onion paste and keep sautéing until the paste becomes golden.
  • Next, add the tomato puree and sauté it until the raw smell fades away.
  • Add salt and the other spice powders. Continue sautéing until the oil starts to separate.
  • Add cooked rajma and pour the water in which the rajma was cooked. You can add more water to get the desired thickness.
  • Put the slit green chili and the ginger juliennes in the Rajma.
  • Cover the rajma and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes on a low flame.
  • Mash the rajma to check if they are done or not.
  • Sprinkle some crushed dry fenugreek leaves and coriander leaves.
  • You can also add 2 tbsp cream and stir gently to get the restaurant-style taste. Take the Rajma out of the stove.
  • Garnish with chopped green coriander, butter and cream. Serve hot.

Rajma tastes best when eaten with plain rice. This delicious combo is a favourite in several North Indian households. To enjoy this flavoursome dish to the max, eat some lemon and onion wedges on the side.