Rajma Chawal

Rajma Chawal that is kidney beans in Indian curry served with hot steamed rice is an Indian (Punjabi) delicacy. My husband is from Delhi and hence his ‘Punjabi’ taste buds make him a huge Rajma Chawal fan. I prepared it for lunch this Saturday when my brother and sister in law were visiting us and it was a great success. It makes a great lunch or dinner menu when you have couple of guests over for a quiet sit-down party.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  1. Rajma (Kidney Beans) – 250 gms
  2. Refined Oil/Mustard Oil – 2 tbsp
  3. Onion (Large and finely chopped) – 2
  4. Tomato (Large and pureed) – 3
  5. Ginger (crushed) – 1 inch
  6. Green Chili (chopped) – 2
  7. Bay leaf – 1
  8. Black Pepper whole – 3 to 4
  9. Cloves – 3 to 4
  10. Cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch
  11. Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
  12. Red Chili Powder  – 1 tbsp (you can modify as per your taste, I like it hot!)
  13. Kashmiri Lal Mirch (Red Chili Powder) – 1 tbsp (this adds only color)
  14. Garam Masala Powder- 1/2 tbsp
  15. Turmeric – a pinch
  16. Salt as per taste


Step 1: Soak the beans overnight (12 hours). Drain the soaked beans and put them in a pressure cooker with 1 lt. water and 1 tsp salt. After the first whistle, reduce the flame and let it cook for another 15 minutes (it might take a little less time if you have soft water).

Step 2: Heat oil in a pan and add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and black pepper. Saute for a minute and add the chopped onion. Saute till it is golden brown and and then add the chopped green chili and crushed ginger.

Step 3: Once the onion looks brown and the raw aroma of ginger fades, add corrinader powder, garam masala powder, red chili powder, turmeric, salt and kashmiri mirch. Saute for 1 minute and add the tomato puree. The mixture has to be sauted till we see oil separating from it.

Step 4:  Add the cooked beans with water in the pan and cook on slow flame till the curry thickens. I like the curry to be thin which goes well with rice. But you can cook it to the desired consistency.

Garnish with coriander/ cilantro leaves , onion rings and a lemon wedge. Serve hot with steamed rice (Basmati rice) and masala papad !



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