Rajma Chawal or Red Kidney Beans Masala with Rice

Rajma Chawal is red kidney beans cooked in a masala made from onion, tomato and some spices served over a bed of white rice.

red kidney beans masala gravy punjabi vegan rice sabzi

Haaapy Wednesday....

I'm not entirely sure about my feelings for Wednesday, the optimist in me says the week is half done and the cynic in me says there are still TWO days left to go... Either way, it calls for a treat, don't you think so?

I've had a hectic time going on. It was pretty much work work work until Sunday where I worked for a full day on the blog.Yes, an ENTIRE day. Raj just did his stuff and I did mine. Sis cooked up lunch and we just ate Masala Puri - a local street food for dinner. I redesigned a lot of stuff around on the blog on Sunday. Tried different templates, but finally decided HTML isn't my cup of tea. Too much effort, so reverted back to my old template and just updated the layout. The awesomely beautiful weather totally helped the non-working-yet-working Sunday I had. Such heavy lashing rains and melodious songs on YouTube. Have I mentioned, I absolutely LOVE rains.

red kidney beans masala gravy punjabi vegan rice sabzi

And then back to the work work work grind from Monday. So it is finally mid week and I deserved my treat I believe. Something delicious, yet quick to make. When I'm stressed out, I always make rice. On other days, I'm not usually a big fan of rice. I stick to rotis (wholewheat flatbread). But I think it is that starchy comfort I seek in rice when I'm all drained out. And what goes well with Rice - RAJMA...   Rajma Chawal in simple English words is Beans and Rice. Beans and Rice, now that's a world famous combo.

I highly recommend using Basmati rice here. The long grains and the fragrance of Basmati makes any simple dish also seem special. But I was out of Basmati. So I had to make do with regular short grain rice. But I highly highly recommend Basmati. Did I mention that already?

Have you ever fried onions and garlic in oil? Or at least been around when someone else was frying it? Doesn't it just smell AMAZING? That aroma always makes me hungry, even after I've just had a big meal. Well, this Rajma Chawal is a treat for the nose too with the frying-of-onion-and-garlic. It is the perfect appetite builder. So I am not responsible for munching on those banana chips while cooking, it was the onions.

red kidney beans masala gravy punjabi vegan rice sabzi

I've pretty much used the same recipe in the past to make black bean soup. Just replace the red kidney beans with the black ones and you are done. So if you want to skip the rice, although I suggest you try this famous marriage of flavors, you can have the Rajma just as a regular spiced soup with some crusty bread to mop it up.

Rajma Chawal or Red Kidney Beans Masala with Rice

red kidney beans masala gravy punjabi vegan rice sabziRed kidney beans cooked in a masala made from onion, tomato and some spices served over a bed of white rice.

Recipe Type:  Main
Cuisine:         North Indian
Prep Time:    20 minutes
Cook time:     45 minutes
Yield:             Serves 2



2 cups cooked Red Kidney Beans or Rajma (see note if using dried beans)
2 Tomatoes
1 large Onion
1-2 cloves Garlic
1/2" piece of Ginger
2 tsp Cumin Powder or Jeera powder
1 tsp of Coriander Powder or Dhania Powder
1/2 tsp of Garam Masala
1 tsp of Cumin seeds or Jeera
1 tsp Sugar or Jaggery powder
1 tbsp of Kasuri Methi (Optional)
4 tsp of Oil
Salt to taste
A handful of coriander leaves for garnish


1 cup of Rice (preferably Basmati)
2 cups of Water



Wash the rice twice with sufficient water.
In a deep pan, bring 2 cups of water to boil.
Once it comes to a rolling boil, add the washed rice and cover and cook until the rice is done.
Drain out any excess water.
Alternatively, pressure cook the rice for around 2-3 whistles or 8-10 minutes after the pressure builds up to cut the rice cooking time into half.


Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds.
Grind together the onion, ginger and garlic and add to the pan.
Fry the onion paste until it turns slightly brown or for about 3-4 minutes.
Grind the tomato into a puree.
Add the tomato puree to the pan and mix well. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
Now add all the spice powders and 1 cup water and allow it to simmer on low heat for 4-5 minutes. If you used dried beans and cooked it yourself, then instead of plain water, you can use the water in which the beans were cooked in.
Add the cooked beans, salt and sugar or jaggery and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the kasuri methi and mix well. 
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice.


If using dried red kidney beans or rajma like me, then soak 1 cup of dried beans for 8-10 hours.
Drain out the water.
In a pressure cooker or a deep pan, add the soaked beans and add enough water to cover the beans and a little more. 
Add salt and cover and cook until the beans are done but not mushy.
I cooked in the pressure cooker, so after the first whistle, I lowered the heat and allowed it to cook for 15 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. This recipe is very nice i like your article as their is good information available i have tried best rajma chawal in Delhi but i want to try to make it at home so i tried your recipe to make rajma chawal and hopefully i made very tasty rajma chawal. Thank you