Apr 23, 2008

Recipe - Rajma

Red kidney beans cooked with spices


Kidney beans, very rich in nutritional value, has high protein and cholesterol lowering fiber. Its high fiber prevents diabetes blood sugar levels rising rapidly after a meal.

For busy people, slow cooker can also be used for cooking. Preparation of rajma should be planned adequately for slow cooking which takes 12 - 15 hours before the meal time. Rajma have to be pre-soaked for cooking in a slow cooker. For pressure cooking, pre-soaking rajma reduces the cooking time.

Rajma is one of the dishes cooked very frequently in our house. My kids love rajma. I add pinto beans to kidney beans, pinto beans serves as gravy and give a nice flavor and consistency to rajma. In this recipe, rajma is cooked together with onion and tomato to save time and energy. Rajma can be eaten with rice or roti/paratha/puri. Rajma is not only popular in north India but also in south India.


  • Red kidney beans - 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Pinto beans - 1/4 cup
  • Onion - 1 big ( 1 and 1/2 cups chopped)
  • Tomato - 3 medium (2 and 1/2 cups chopped)
  • Ginger - 1 tablespoon
  • Salt - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder (dhania powder) - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Water - 6 cups of water
  • Cilantro - 2 tablespoons (garnish)
  • Oil - 1 tablespoon


Wash and soak rajma (red kidney bean) overnight. If you decide on cooking without soaking, you will have to pressure cook it for more time at least 12 whistles.

Pressure cook pre-soaked rajma in 6cups of water (at least 8 - 10 whistles) with onions, tomatoes, dhania powder, salt, red chili powder, turmeric, and grated ginger till rajma are soft.

After the pressure is released, if you notice, the rajma is still standing out you can always lightly mash it into slight mixture, or cook it on low heat for 10 - 15 minutes. Add 1 - 2 cups of water to bring rajma to the desired consistency.

Garnish with coriander leaves, tomatoes and onions before serving. Serve with rice or roti.


  • Some prefer to saute the onion tomato mixture and then add to the cooked rajma. Cook rajma with salt and turmeric till 8 -10 whistles. Add sauteed onion and tomato gravy, cook it on low heat for 15 - 20 minutes for the spices to seep in.
  • For slow cooking, after 8 - 10 hours of slow cooking, add the prepared gravy to the boiled/cooked kidney beans in the slow cooker and let it cook for 4 -5 hours till all the ingredients are mixed well with spices seep in. Garnish with cilantro, tomatoes and onions before serving.

Adding masala and spices to cooked Rajma :


Heat oil or butter in a skillet or pan. Add cumin seeds and hing, allow the seeds to splutter. Add chopped onions, ginger, garlic and cook till light slightly brown in color.

Add chopped tomatoes, ginger, minced garlic (6 -8 cloves optional), coriander powder and red chilli powder. Saute till tomatoes are well mashed.

Grind/blend the mixture (optional).

Add onion and tomato seasoning to cooked rajma and little water ( desired consistency), cook for 15 - 20 minutes.

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Some of the recipes presented here are originally inspired by others. Credit is given to the original postings. I have listed recipes here for my own reference as well as pictures are my addition to the whole cooking experience. Enjoy.