Rajma (Red kidney beans curry)

Rajma / Red kidney beans curry

Rajma (red kidney beans curry) comes from North India, specifically from the state of Punjab, and is omnipresent in eateries of all shapes and sizes. Rajma is essentially the Hindi name for red kidney beans. Rajma curry is prepared using a spicy onion-tomato gravy. People generally prefer this curry with rice as a quick bite, as evident from the consumption of Rajma-Chawal (Chawal is the Hindi name for rice) in Northern India.


My darling hubby is a die-hard fan of rajma; the source of this love being is engineering hostel days wherein he enjoyed rajma every other day.  So, I make this rajma curry once or twice in a month. Both of us love to have rajma curry with rice as well as chapati. I always make rajma in enough quantity so that we can enjoy it next day too 🙂 In my opinion, most of these curries (like Rajma, Dal Makhni) taste amazingly great the next day!

Let’s take a moment to see the health benefits of red kidney beans, it is very low in saturated fats, cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of protein, Folate, Iron, Phosphorus, Copper and Manganese; it is also a very good source of dietary fiber. It’s high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, kidney beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein.

So let’s get cracking on this nutritious curry..

The ingredients for making Rajma are :
1. Red Kidney beans (Rajma) : 2 cup
2. Onion : 2 (puréed)
3. Tomato : 3 (puréed)
4. Garlic : 6 (finely chopped)
5. Green Chilli : 3
6. Ginger : 1/2 tsp (finely chopped)
7. Red Chilli Powder : 2 tsp
8. Turmeric Powder (Haldi) : 1/2 tsp
9. Coriander Powder (Dhania) : 2 tsp
10. Salt : to taste
11. Dried Mango Powder (Amchur) : 1/2 tsp
12. Tamarind Chutney (Imli) : 1 tsp
13. Bayleaf (Tejpatta) : 1
14. Clove (Laung) : 1
15. Cinnamon Powder (Dalchini) : 1/4 tsp
16. Black Pepper Powder (Kali Mirch) : a pinch
17. Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
18. Oil : 2 Tbsp

Method :

Wash, rinse and soak the red kidney beans in enough water for overnight.

Pressure cook the red kidney beans for 4-5 whistles or till they get cooked; keep it aside.

Make puree of onion, tomato-green chilli separately in a mixer and keep them aside.

Heat oil in a pan; temper with bayleaf, clove, cinnamon powder, black pepper and cumin seeds. Then add ginger-garlic and sauté it for 2 minutes. Now add the onion puree, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then add tomato puree, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder; sauté till it becomes dry and leave the sides.

Now add the boiled red kidney beans, 2.5 cup of water, and salt; mix well. Cook covered for 3-4 minutes on medium flame. Now add dried mango powder and tamarind chutney; mix well and further cook for 5-6 minutes covered on medium flame. Switch off the flame.

Rajma / Red kidney beans curry

Your lip smacking Rajma is ready to be served ! You can serve this rajma with rice, chapati, parantha, laccha paranthakulcha or naan.

Insider Tips / Finer Points :

  • You may adjust spices according to your taste buds.
  • You can adjust the consistency of the curry as per your preference, by adding less or more water.
  • Don’t panic if you forget to soak the red kidney beans at night. Here is the shortcut for that : Put the red kidney beans with water in a pressure cooker; cook it for 1 whistle and then remove the pressure cooker from the flame. Let it rest for 1 hour and then cook as you would cook the overnight soaked red kidney beans.
  • You can use chopped onion and chopped tomato instead of making their purees.
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