January 27, 2022

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Rajma Chawal

Rajma Chawal


What is rajma chawal?

It is one of the simplest yet tastiest of meals. There is no Indian kid who would not love his moms’s Rajma Chawal as much as his noodles. Kidney beans are a rich source of protein. Rajma recipe or the kidney bean curry is synonymous with mom’s kitchen. This is one of the easiest gravy dishes of North India.In fact,all you need for a good Sunday brunch is the Rajma masala with some Pulao. Kidney beans in spicy tomato gravy served with dollops of clarified butter or Ghee and rice. You will find rajma curry served at hotels,parties,weekend brunches and  at local Punjabi Dhabas. You can make it vegan too. Just opt out of the ghee, the recipe still tastes amazing. Has lesser calories too. Serve it with rice and it is a perfect gluten-free meal.

How to boil rajma?

Soak the kidney beans overnight or 4-5 hrs. When their skin gets crinkly,they are ready to be cooked. Depending on variety,they may need 2-3 whistles in pressure cooker.

North India’s Rajma obsession

There are 2 types of ‘Rajma‘.The longer one is more easily available, and the other, smaller deep maroon Kashmiri one.In Kashmiri recipe, rajma gogji, chefs cook kidney beans with turnips.At Mata Vaishno Devi,you will find hundreds of stall at Jammu, serving  ‘Rajma chawal‘ to devotees.Mexican kidney beans curry Indian style, has indeed been a part of our childhood with such fervor, that it hardly looks a foreign import.This recipe is one of the staple lunches of any Punjabi,Delhi, Kashmiri or North Indian household.It is immensely popular with all age groups.It is also a life saver, when you have guests coming over.
How do you make rajma chawal? step by step pictures.
1. Soak rajma overnight or 4-5 hours in hot water. Discard the water before you use.
2. Boil rajma in a pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles. Keep it aside.
3. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and cumin seeds to it. Let it splutter.
4. Add chopped onions along with salt. Cover and cook.
5. Mix well and let it cook until onions turn brown.
6.  Puree the tomatoes along with ginger and chilly. Now, add the tomato puree to onions and mix well.
7. Add all the spices and mix well.
8. Let the curry cook until the oil oozes out.
9. Add the boiled rajma to the above mix and let it cook on a medium flame until it comes to a boil.
10. Garnish it with kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves. Serve hot with rice.
Rajma chawal

Rajma chawal can be made with both white and brown rice.

Prep Time8 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chawal, indian rajma curry, kidneybeans curry, rajma, rajma chawal, rajma curry

Servings: 6

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  • Rajma:
  • 2 cup Rajma or kidney beans
  • 3 tbsp clarified butter ghee or oil if vegan
  • 2-3 medium onions chopped
  • 3-4 tomatoes pureed
  • 1 tbsp Garam masala or 1 piece each cinnamon,bayleaf,cardamom (green,black,Cloves,black pepper) optional
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1-2 green chilly chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dry kasuri methi
  • Salt to taste

Basmati Rice/chawal

  • 1 cup Basmati rice soaked for 30 mins to 1 hour
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt as per taste


For rajma

  • Rajma should be soaked overnight in water or soaked in boiling water for 3-4 hours till the skin becomes bit wrinkled.
  • Cook these kidney beans with equal amount of water for 4-6 whistles in a pressure cooker(2 whistles on high flame and rest 4 on low flame) or microwave them for 20 minutes with equal quantity of water.
  • Heat oil or clarified butter(ghee) in a pan and add all the spices -cinnamon,bayleaf,cardamom (green,black),Cloves,black pepper to it.
  • Add green chillies,ginger paste and onions, saute it for few minutes till onions get a golden brown texture.
  • Add chopped tomatoes or tomato puree,turmeric,red chilies,coriander powder and salt.
  • Let it simmer for 5 minutes till it gains a bright red color.
  • Close the cooker lid and pressure cook the gravy for 2 whistles on medium flame. This will let onion and tomato bind completely.
  • Add the boiled kidney beans to this curry and let it boil for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively you can pressure cook this for 1-2 whistles. Add water(only if required) to adjust the consistency of the gravy.
  • Sprinkle kasuri methi and serve hot with Basmati rice.
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Rajma tends to thicken when it gets cooler.
It is also a great meal for the next day as it acquires greater flavor by then.


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