On days I feel clueless as to what to make for dinner and ask Hubby, he replies Rajma chawal/rice. Growing up in Delhi, his mom made it often and hence this is comfort food for him. It is a very popular dish in North India. Rajma is soaked first, then pressure cooked and cooked again with a melange of spices resulting in melt-in-the-mouth kidney beans. 

We were in London recently and were visiting Hubby’s friend. His wife belongs to Himachal Pradesh and served us the yummiest rajma. I forgot to ask her version of the recipe, maybe sometime in the future…although I make pretty decent rajma after making it repeatedly over the years.

Niki and I too love Rajma. It can be served with salad (raw onion spiked with chaat masala tastes very well). 


6-8 people

Prep Time

8-10 hours soaking

Cook Time

About an hour

Total Time

10-12 hours


  • 2 cups rajma soaked for 8 hours
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp amchur/raw mango  powder 
  • 1 ½-2 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp rajma masala, any store bought variety
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ inch piece cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp sugar, optional
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 ½-2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 2-3 tsp oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Cilantro for garnish 


Step 1
Wash rajma after soaking and cook in a pressure cooker until soft, yet holds shape. The process will take about 30-40 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

Step 2
Blend onion, tomato, garlic and ginger to a fine paste.

Step 3
Heat oil in a pan add bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves. After a minute add red chili powder, turmeric, and coriander powder and mix.

Step 4
Add the ground paste and saute for 5-8 minutes.

Step 5
Now add the pressure cooked rajma. Add salt, amchur, roasted cumin powder and sugar. 

Step 6
Cover and cook for 20 minutes on medium low flame stirring in between. Piping hot rajma is ready to be enjoyed with rice.


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The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.

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