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Rajma Chawal (Kidney Bean Curry)

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Rajma chawal (kidney beans with rice) is a great combination. This is a complete meal in itself.

Serves 4.

Rajma ChawalIngredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup kidney beans (rajma)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 green chili
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • Generous pinch of asafetida (hing)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 medium chopped tomato for garnishing

Method

  1. Wash and soak the kidney beans in about six cups of water for at least 6 hours (the beans will double in volume ).
  2. Cut the tomatoes in small pieces, green chili slice lengthwise and take out the seeds (if you prefer mild). Blend tomatoes, green chili, and ginger and make a paste.
  3. Heat the oil in pressure cooker. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed. If the seed cracks right away, the oil is ready. Add asafetida and cumin seeds, as the cumin seeds crack add tomato paste, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, black pepper, and paprika.
  4. Stir-fry for two to three minutes, until the oil begins to separate from the mixture. Add kidney beans, salt, and three cups of water. Close the cooker. Cook over medium high heat.
  5. When pressure cooker starts to steam, turn the heat down to medium and cook twelve minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat. Wait until the steam has stopped before opening the pressure cooker.
  7. Kidney beans should be soft and tender. Stir and mash them gently. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Garnish with chopped tomatoes.

110 thoughts on “Rajma Chawal (Kidney Bean Curry)

  1. Namaste, Manjula ji,

    I just made this for the second time – it is so, so yummy… Also, I have two small stories surrounding it, and I wanted to share!

    So… The first time I made this, I made so much that I would have had to eat it for four days straight. It is quite delicious, but at the latest at the third day, I’d somehow like something different… So I added some leftover rice, two spoons full of besam gram, some water and some salt, made a dough, and then little dumplings and fried them. And oh my, it came out very well… So thank you again!

    And the second story… Well. There was a girl who was searching for an urad dal recipe. Sadly, her most favourite cooking website didn’t have any, so she searched around the internet, and found another recipe. And lo and behold, it was… bad. The spice mixture was somehow wrong, it didn’t taste right at all and nothing she did could save the dal. Ruefully, she returned to her favourite site and cooked another one of the wonderful, perfectly balanced meals, and all lived happily ever after. :)

    Thank you again for all your work. I haven’t yet found a recipe on your website I didn’t enjoy, and it taught me so much about Indian cooking… Thank you.

    Love,

    Naurael

  2. I am new to your recipes and am really looking forward to making this one tomorrow. Only trouble is that I don’t own a pressure cooker. How does the cooking time and procedure change in that case?

    Thanks so much!

  3. What is the difference between Rajma Chawal and Rajma Masala? Kinda looks the same. Trying your Palak Paneer tonight! Can’t wait!! Thank you

  4. I made Rajma curry yesterday. Awesome as usual!! Thanks. I just added garlic while grinding the tomatoes. It turned out great!

  5. Hello Manjulaji!

    I have to tell you, I just enjoy cooking using your recipes. In our family, we do not use onion-garlic on important/auspicious days and during those times, your recipes come to my rescue. I admire your passion in cooking simple, satvik food and the way you present your recipes. Thank you so much!

    -Sukshma

  6. Salt should nto be added while pressure cooking for th eRajma to be tender and soft. Salt should be added in the end.

  7. Thanks for the great recepie. I tried cooking Rajma, and soaked it overnight in water. But the Rajma dosen’t cook well, even if I cook it for 30-40 minutes, using pressure cooker.
    My mother in law asked me to add baking soda and boil the rajma in it before cooking. Then discard the water. That helped, but I am worried it the nutrition is also getting washed away in this process. please advise.

    Regards,
    Keya

  8. Dear Manjula Aunty,
    Thank you so much for all your recipes. I tried the rajma recipe, the taste was great BUT the rajma was not well cooked, even tho I soaked it in plenty of water overnight and cooked it for 30 min. This ALWAYs happens to me for both rajma and chole. Please help. What am I doing wrong? Thanks, Anjali

  9. Delicious! I don’t have a pressure cooker so I precooked the beans instead. My husband and I really loved it! Thanks!

  10. Awesome recipe.. I liked the way you explained, the most I liked is you do not suggest garam masalas,..

  11. This is very tasty! But use the pressure cooker if you have one. Mine broke a little while ago but I was really craving this dish so I decided to just make it in a regular pot. It took a very long time to cook and the dish didn’t have the same consistency as in the pressure cooker. It was very watery and just didn’t taste the same.

    Manjula, do you have any tips to make this without the pressure cooker? Should we cook the beans separately before adding to the rest of the ingredients?

    Thank you so much, your site is so helpful and everyone loves your dishes when I make them. Including my picky boyfriend!

  12. aunty.. this is komal.. i saw ur videos at youtube.com. n trust me u r the best.. m a 22yrs. old girl,who didnt have interest in cooking.. bt nw i have noted down atleast 11 recepeis today.. i’ll definitely make rajma tommorow.. n will tell u .. i ws about to go to cooking classes.. bt god sent u to me.. as the cookin class aunty ws taking 8000 fees.. n u r serving amazing recepies to us for free…love you aunty . muaaaaaaaaah <3 <3

  13. Deepa,
    When you said you ” put them in cooker and steaming for 10-15 mins” did you mean that you put them in the pressure-cooker with the whistle on and cooked for 15 minutes? or did you really just “steam them” like you stated in your email. I am not clear with what you mean in your post.

    Also, a girlfriend of mine told me this trick and I’ve used it before and has worked – especially if I don’t have time to pressure cook them for very long or if I’ve decided at the last minute to cook something like kidney beans or chole in the pressure-cooker. Try adding a 1/2 teaspoon or a little less of baking soda to the water of what ever it is you are cooking that is similar and for what ever reason (I am not sure the reasoning behind it myself) it helps in the cooking / softening process. It doesn’t alter the taste of the food you are cooking but it helps a lot. One time I added it to some chole that I had soaked for some time and it actually made it too soft.. so, I think not soaking the beans / chickpeas but just adding the baking soda will work. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out.

  14. Hi manjula aunty,

    I like your recipes a lot as they are simple and taste great. I tried making rajma and soaked the beans overnight. However even after putting them in cooker and steaming for 10-15 mins the beans remain hard. I am really surprised by this. I even tried to cook it again in the Pan, however there was not much of change. Is there anything we can add to the beans so that cooking time is saved?

    When I soaked it, I forgot and soaked them for around 1.5 days. Does that make any difference?

    Thanks,
    Deepa

      1. you can also use light red kidney beans caned that are already cooked is an easer way then pressure cooker for the rajma chawal. just a sujestion.

  15. Dear Madam,
    I like your receipes very much and the way you make it.
    I have tried many of your receipes turned out to be very good and tasty…..thank you very much mam,

  16. I’m pleased I located this web page, I couldnt get any information on this matter prior to. Also operate a website and if you wish to ever serious in a little bit of visitor writing for me make sure you feel free to let me know, i’m always look for people to check out my web site. Please stop by and leave a comment sometime!

  17. This dish is very tasty and my family loved it. Thank you for the recipe and thank you for the ideas of what to serve it with. I love that about your recipes.

  18. This is an amazing dish. I have made it several times now for me and my husband as well as for guests. It has such a beautiful rich smell when cooking. Yummy! Thank you so much for the beautiful recipes and inspirations!

    Jessi

  19. I found your website because my family loves good food. I have tried many of your recipies and they are just great. Please continue to add more to your already mouth watering menu list

    Great job…

  20. I found your blog through a search for kidney beans and I usually don’t leave comments, but I LOVE YOUR SITE. I love indian food and I am vegan so I really appreciate that you have a section of your site that shows vegan recipes. My boyfriend also loves indian food, so I make a lot of it and I am so happy that your site has so many new recipes for me to try!! The rajma chawal looks absolutely delicious! Actually, I am making it right now. [=

    It smells delicious!

  21. Namaste Manjulaji,

    Your website and recipes are very good.. I am from South India and I really like to try cooking authentic North Indian dishes.. I have tried the Rajma from your website and it really came out great… Thanks for posting these wonderful recipes !!

    -Shilpa

  22. hi manjula aunti .
    i married 6 month ago but
    i just don’t know how to cook after watching your recipe
    i tried and my husband just love it
    and now he loves me more and more and more thanxs to you

  23. Aunty,

    Love ur website a lotttt.. tried out so many recipes and everything turned out great… I have one question.. u have not used onions and garlic in most of the recipes like gravy or subzi.. onions and garlic flavours subzis and gravy s even more isnt it? or its optional? like can i customize the recipes myself, adding onion and garlic but still the recipe would taste like ur preparation?

    Thanks
    Suba

  24. Namaste Manjula Aunty:

    This is Anu. Today, I made Rajma as per your directions and it came out great.
    I used to put onions but your recipie tastes very delicious. I am trying your Gajar recipie today.

    Thanks a lot.

    - Anu

  25. Dear Ms Manjula,
    Married to someone from Jammu, Its been almost a decade since I have been trying out recipes for Rajmah; They were never perfect, either the colour was brown or too much taste of garam masala or poor consistency. I have been googling for the perfect recipe for so many years and today I tried out the recipe from your site and it was “Perfect”. Amazingly simple, yet tasty.
    Taught me a huge lesson in life” Too many ingredients spoil the dish” just like “Too many cooks spoil the broth”.
    I am a busy exec on vacation and I plan to try out one recipe from your kitchen for the rest of my vacation.
    Thanks once again and Wish you a blessed 2010..

    Warm Regards
    Latika

  26. Hello Aunty,

    I am planning to make this rajma recipe over the weekend. Please let me know if it will be good to add onion paste along with Tomato puree.

    Thanks,
    Reshma

  27. Manjula ji, thanks a lot for all your wonderful recipes. Can you please tell me which Pressure cooker do you use and where you got it from? Thank you.

  28. Dear Aunty,
    Thanks so much. This turned out delicious, it’s simple to make as well. We loved it. However, I need some help – tho I soaked the rajma for 12 hours and cooked it for 15 min after the pressure came, the beans were not tender/soft. They were medium cooked (bit hard but breaking when pressed). I dont want to add soda. Any suggestions? Warm wishes, Anjali

  29. thank you for the simple vegetarian recipes that you post on your website.. i absolutely loved the cabbage kofta curry and the bread pakoras.. and i will surely spread a good word ’bout you n your website.

    1. Every recipe on this website is totally vegetarian…notice the title “Indian Vegetarian Recipes”.

      You can easily make a menu from anything here.

  30. hello aunty

    i have tried all your recipes and all them came out to be excellent. i dont use onion and garlic at home and hence it
    very convienient for me . \
    thankyou

  31. i tried all most all of your recipe and they all are great …. you make cooking very very simple
    thank you so much

  32. i like ur recipes so much. They are much useful for me during special days when we avoid onion from our food. Thanks for the yummy recipes!

  33. Hello Aunty,
    Thank you so much for sharing your great knowledge of cooking! I am going to be your most eager student!
    My husband hates vegetables and I do my best to make his diet healthy – I tried this recipe to smuggle some veggies into his menu (I blended the curry into a chutney to make it look more non-veg) and he liked it very much :-) The trick worked very nicely!
    Thank you so much for this delicious and healthy recipe!
    I can’t wait to try other recipes from your website!

    Kind regards,

    A.

  34. Hello aunty ji,

    I have been trying most of your recipes and all of them turned out very good. My dad is wondering what happened to me? cuz I didn’t work in the kitchen that much before. Thanks to you and your website which is very helpful.

    Take care
    Sukhpreet

  35. I am from Kerala. I tried this .It came out very well.So simple and tasty.Thanks for sharing.The video is really helpful.Great Job.

    with luv
    Manju

  36. Hello aunty,

    Hope u r ok.. ur recipes are really gr8.. and reminds me of mom and home cookinh.. i miss them so much.. u have done a gr8 work .. thanks soo much..

    With loads of love
    Kasturi

  37. hi aunty,
    i don’t have rajmas with me and i dont have any indian stores too.so can i substitute with black eyed beans.plz let me know.thank u.

  38. Aunty,

    I liked the pressure cooker that you used. What is the brand name? Is it stainless steel?

    Thank you.
    Siri Datar Kaur

  39. hii aunty
    This cooking video of your really helps me. For a fresher like me this is heaven. And I also like all your utensils from where do you buy them? Aunty can u tell me the recepie for bagarbangan plz aunty its my favourite food but i dont know how to prepare. thank u so much

    Thanks
    sai

  40. Aunty,

    I made this for the temple I volenteer and I made it for 50 people!!. Aunty Thank you so much, Temple does not want Garlic or
    onion and you are the only one who does it just like that. Thank you. One thing since I made such hugh propotion and was little
    concerned about the quantity of the ingredient, it turned out fine except I felt the ginger was little more thou it does nopt leave a bad taste
    what should I do in case like this…

  41. Dear Aunty,

    Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your knowledge with us.

    With your guidance, I have just cooked your Rajma Dal recipe: simply the best dal I have EVER eaten!

    I had all the ingredients to hand, but never knew how they could come together so well to provide such a wonderful dish.

    Kindest Regards,

    Bryan
    (DownUnder)

  42. hello aunty
    i really like your all recipes , its so easy and quick
    i tried all your subji, and i have been sucssessful
    your great aunty.
    please give us more and more recipes
    thanks

  43. Hi Ms. Manjula!
    Am vaishnvai. I tried most of ur recipes n they r really awesome. D way u present gives more interest in learning. gr8 job. Ur my 2nd MOTHER n teaching me cooking.

  44. Hello Aunty,

    This cooking video of your really helps me. For a fresher like me this is heaven. I wanted to know from wher do you get coriander powder because the one I get is thin and the one you use is thick powder. Pls can you let me know from where to but. And I also like all your utensils from where do you buy them?

    Thanks

  45. Hello Aunty,
    I really like your videos, they are very helpful for people like me who are not a great cook. Aunty will it be possible for you
    to post recipe of lobia curry (black-eyed bean curry).
    Cheers :-)
    Simmi

  46. Hare Krishna,
    Dear Manjula ji,
    Thank you very much for your wonderful recipes. It makes it even more wonderful when you can see it on video. I like this Rajma Recipe it suits as and being a Vaishnava we avoid onions and garlic.
    Please keep us showing your wonderful recipes and we offer it to Krsna.

    Thank you

  47. Manjula,
    This was delicious. I am vegan, and your recipes and videos have been a wonderful resource and have gotten me excited about cooking. I appreciate you very much!
    -Alex

  48. Hi.I want to ask does quality and size of Rajma beans matters in this recipe?Because i feel Rajma which i buy are some odd quality.I have to take almost 10/12 vessels for them to cook though after soaking them for overnight.

  49. Hi Manjula,

    Can this be modified to cook without a pressure cooker? I would love to try it, but don’t know if it will work without this. Thank You.

  50. Hello Manjula ji,
    Love your website and your teaching style. You make it all simple and yet point to a lot of minute details that are important. Makes me want to cook better.
    Question on cooking rajma soft: when you cooked them in the cooker for 12 mins, was that without using the weight that blows whistles? I have used dark red variety of Rajma earlier and that doesn’t get soft even after 5 whistles on the cooker – even though I do soak the rajma overnight always.

  51. Hi,
    I just wanted to tell you that your recipies and videos are great! And also thank you for providing this service. Your videos are so much better than a recipe book. I’m excited to try this recipe, the third one I’ve tried in as many days!
    Take care.

  52. Hi Kuldip,
    If you go back to the Naan recipe and scroll down to the Comments and read through them, you will find a lot of useful information about the stone (called a Pizza Stone in the U.S) but if you can’t locate one in a store where you live, you can also us a good quality heavy cookie sheet (also talked about in the Naan Comments).

    If you still have questions, please reply back so we can help you. :)

  53. After seeing your cooking, I have started Indian food liking. Normally I like european food and ready to eat food, I love to go out and eat Macdonalds and burgers but after watching your videos I have started cooking at home and trying to eat simple and healthy food. Most fascinating is to say that you are very simple and your cooking methods are simple too and easy to pick-up and easy to follow. I have started to eat more vegitalbe food after seeing your cooking. So thanks for your support and help.

  54. Big compliments for guing in simpl ways to make graet dishes. I have used your style of making foods and feeling happy. Kindly tell about stone to cook Rotis in oven. (In one of your Nan video you have used stone).

  55. Hi Manjula,
    Thank you for your website. I’m really fond of Indian recipes and
    I’ve just tried your Rajma Chawal. It was great!
    Regards.
    Yasmina

  56. Dear Manjula aunty,myself Dr Umesh and my wife Udaya enjoyed learning rajma chawal and thankyou very much for that lovely demonstration.
    We hope to try out some of your other dishes as well.
    Regards,
    Umesh and Udaya
    24th July 2008

  57. hi Manjula aunty!
    Your recipes are really nice and helpful. I had a problem making Purries. Just saw ur recipe now. Will try them soon. Also,which brand of Wheat flour should i use here in US(new to us so don know much abt the brands here) ?Im currently using Sujata brand. Guess its from Pillsbury! Should i change over to some other brand? Kindly help.

  58. Hi Manjula, I came to your class a few weeks ago and have enjoyed trying out some of the recipes you shared with us. # 1 hit in the family is the chickpea curry or chole. I haven’t been able to get the hang of testing the heat of the oil by throwing in the cumin seed – I’ve reverted to using a small piece of onion instead – that way I am less likely to end up with burnt cumin seeds!
    I wanted to try this kidney bean curry but dont have a pressure cooker. I have bad memories of my father using one to cook a Christmas pudding and the whole thing exploded. Luckily no one was hurt! Anyway, I would love to see your suggestion for cooking tin beans (including quantity) without a pressure cooker….I’m guessing it might take just 8 mins, like the chickpeas.
    I am having fun checking out your website and your recipes and the videos really help with the small details that make the recipes turn out just right.

    Julia

  59. This is great comfort food. I was also concerned about the softness of the beans, although they seemed fine when I ate it–maybe we’re all just used to the canned kind? I’m guessing they’re supposed to be tender but not falling apart, right?

  60. Hi Shobha,
    Paprika is actually a Hungarian spice. Because of its bright red color, people sometimes mistake it for red chilli powder or assume it must be hot.
    Interestingly, paprika only gives color, no hotness. If you don’t have it, just skip it. It’s easy to find in US grocery stores, but elsewhere I don’t know.

  61. Hi Manjula aunty
    I love your recipes. Thank you very much. What is paprika? All along I was thinking it is red chily powder. Where can I get paprika?
    Thanks
    Shobha

  62. Hi auntyji,

    Thanks a lot for the recipe.. I love rajma and chawal… We used to eat in our hostel before… I tried a lot of recipes but nothing was satisfactory… Urs was awesome… but I just felt the rajma was not soft enough… Though i kept it for lil longer than u said.. It was still not very tender… Can u suggest me something for that?? I just soaked the rajma in hot water as i thought I might not get the 6 hrs u said… is that the problem??

    Anyway thank u so much for u recipes…

    Priyakrish :-)

  63. I used to have an electric top stove. To keep clean, take out the plates, line them with aluminum foil. Gently press the foil down to be flat on the plate and then crimp the foil over all of the edges by about a half inch.
    When they become messy or you have a spill, just change the foil after cool enough to handle.
    Manjula wrote in another reply that she keeps a wet dish cloth handy and wipes up messes as they happen rather than waiting until done cooking.
    If you get turmeric (haldi) on the white stove or light colored counter top, put a small amount of SoftScrub (the one with bleach) on a damp cloth and rub until stain comes out. Wipe with a clean cloth when done.
    Indian cooking is notorious for making your kitchen look like a cyclone came through it. While waiting for something to cook or boil, start washing up dishes and pots already used.
    It takes some effort and motivation, but soon becomes habit.

  64. i too agree with namitha…hw do u keep ur stove soo sparkling clean….i find it difficult to clean those plates n coils….this website is also very very nice n easy….good pics…please keep posting lovely recipies..

  65. Aunty, One thing I was surprised is your stove looks always neat like new one.How to keep it clean.I love your recipes very much.Keep posting new ones.

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