Rajma is a tasty gravy dish of red kidney beans in a tomato-onion gravy. The method is similar to the one I used for black bean masala – In fact, black bean masala was a variation on rajma.

Rajma chawal along with dahi is one of my favorite combinations. I use small kashmiri rajma as they soak and cook well.



This entry goes off to Srivalli’s curry mela!


My other curry varieties are at:
Gravy Vegetables
Tomato Rasam
Vendakkai Morkozhambu (Okra in Yoghurt Gravy)


Rajma (kidney beans): a handful of dried beans or a can of precooked beans (drained and rinsed)

Tomato puree or crushed: 1 cup

Onions: 2 large ones

Green chillies: 4-5

Ginger: 1 inch piece

Bay leaf (tej patta): 1

Black cardamom (badi elaichi): about 4-5 seeds

Mustard (rai) seeds: 1 teaspoon

Turmeric (haldi) powder: ½ teaspoon

Coriander (dhania) powder: ½ teaspoon

Cumin (jeera) powder: ½ teaspoon

Red chilly powder: ½ teaspoon

Garam masala powder: 1 teaspoon

Oil: 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste



  1. Soak the rajma overnight in water. Before cooking, drain the water, wash them thoroughly (this reduces the gas-causing properties) and add about 3 cups of fresh water. Cook in the pressure cooker till soft – about 7 whistles in the pressure cooker. Wait for the pressure to be released.
  2. If using canned beans, I usually try to get low-sodium/no-salt-added ones so that we can control the salt content. I drain the liquid and rinse the beans to get reduce the unwanted salt/sodium and the gas-causing properties.
  3. In the meanwhile, chop the onions finely.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the bay leaf and black cardamom – stir for a few seconds.
  5. Reduce the heat to low. Add the chopped onion and sauté. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes or till lightly browned and soft.
  6. While the onions cook, chop the green chillies and ginger finely.
  7. Add the chillies and ginger to the pan and mix well. Cook for a minute or two so that the flavors are released.
  8. At this stage, you may turn off the heat and cool the mixture. Then, you may remove the bay leaf and puree the onion, chillies, and ginger to a smooth paste. Transfer the paste back to the pan and continue cooking on low heat. We prefer the onions and spices chunky. If you too like it a little chunky, you may skip this step.
  9. Then, stir in the tomato puree, dry spice powders, and salt and mix. Bring to a boil.
  10. Stir in cooked black beans along with any remaining cooking liquid. You can mash a ladleful of beans for thicker gravy.
  11. Add about 1½ cups of water or so for a pouring consistency like gravy.
  12. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 4-5 minutes so that all the flavors blend in.
  13. Turn off the heat. Serve and enjoy with rice (best with basmati rice) or rotis 🙂

3 Responses to “Rajma”

  1. Rajma looks lovely. Nice step by step instructions.

    From skribles: Thanks Nithu

  2. This is one of my daughter’s favorite dishes, she goes nuts for it… I will show her the pic 😉 Looks too good!

    From skribles: That’s so cute! Thanks Meeso – Hope she likes the pic too 🙂

  3. this looks so yummy…do send this for the curry mela…

    From skribles: Thanks Srivalli – I will send it to the curry mela

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s