Kidney Beans and Rice

5 Nov

Rajma Chawal.

Rajma chawal is a very popular Punjabi dish made from red kidney beans and served with steamed rice. Kidney beans are soaked for 6 – 8 hours and pressure cooked till soft. Tomato onion gravy is prepared with a couple of spices and cooked rajma beans are simmered in the tomato onion gravy sauce till very soft. Prepared rajma is layered on steamed rice and served.
Makes: around 4 Servings of Rajma.


Rajma / Red Kidney Beans 1 1/4 Cups
Onion 1 Large
Tomato 3 Medium
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Green Chiles 2
Coriander Powder 2 tsps
Red Chile Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Bay Leaf 1
Cinnamon 2 inch Long Stick
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Soak rajma in water overnight and refresh under running water the next day morning.
Pressure cook the soaked rajma in 3 – 3 1/2 cups of water for 3 whistles or until the rajma / red kidney beans are cooked and turns soft but not mushy.
Alternatively, cooking the rajma in a large pot of water takes around an hour to soften all the rajma.
Strain the cooked rajma and reserve the cooking liquid obtained by it.

Remove stems, wash and finely chop the green chiles.
Peel, remove ends and very finely chop the onion.
Wash and finely chop the tomatoes.

Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat, add cumin seeds, cinnamon, bay leaf and asafoetida.
When cumin seeds start to brown, add chopped onion.
Fry the onion till it turns light brown around the edges.
Then add ginger garlic paste and green chiles and fry for few more seconds.
Stir in chopped tomatoes and cook till tomatoes soften and become mushy.
Then add coriander powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and salt.
Fry till the tomato onion mixture comes together since having a small amount of moisture in it and this takes around 10 – 15 minutes.
Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan frequently to avoid scorching.
Then stir in cooked rajma / kidney beans and the reserved cooking liquid with quarter to half cup of water.

Lower the flame to medium – low heat and cook covered to let rajma absorb all the flavors.
After 15 minutes, uncover and cook to for the required consistency of rajma.
Add vegetable stock or water to thin out the rajma if required and cook for 5 – 10 more minutes.
Serve hot rajma chawal with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
Notes:Make sure to reserve the cooking liquid in which the kidney beans are cooked.

Suggestions:If the rajma is not cooked properly in pressure cooker, make sure it is cooked well in the tomato onion sauce. Perfectly cooked rajma when lightly pressed should become mushy.
Variations: Chopped tomatoes can be swapped with freshly made tomato puree, which takes less time to cook but the taste varies. Canned kidney beans can be used in place of pressure cooked kidney beans but there is a huge taste difference.
Other Names: Rajma Chawal, Raajma Chaval, Kidney Beans and Rice.

6 Responses to “Kidney Beans and Rice”

  1. lubna November 5, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    i love rajma chawal. good recipe.

  2. N. ANANTHA PADMANABHAN November 6, 2009 at 5:51 am #

    when to add hing

  3. Raji November 6, 2009 at 11:34 am #

    @lubna its super good recipe. Give it a try.
    @N. ANANTHA PADMANABHAN hing is mentioned after adding the bay leaf. Hope it helped.

  4. lubna November 9, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    i had tried most of ur recipes. and got amaizing result.

  5. Raji January 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    thx for trying and thx for letting us know lubna

  6. Deepali October 27, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    the recipe is really good. i always wanted this recipe, thanks to this website, it would help to prepare delicious dishes

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