Rajma Chawal
Prep time 10mins
Cook time 1hr
Serves or Makes: 4

Recipe Card


  • 1 cup dry kidney beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil, or another neutral oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup tomato puree, (about 2 fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder, (optional for color)
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 cup U.S.-grown basmati rice, for serving
  • cilantro, for serving


  • Step 1

    In a medium pan over medium heat, heat the oil. You could also use the pressure cooker, an Instant Pot, or the pot that you will simmer the rajma in.

  • Step 2

    Add onion and cook until translucent for about 5 minutes. Add ginger and continue stirring for a few minutes, until the raw ginger smell goes away.

  • Step 3

    Add the tomato puree and a big pinch of salt. Cook until the tomato juices mostly evaporate and the tomato clumps together in the pan.

  • Step 4

    Add all the spices and slightly lower the heat. Gently mix them into the aromatics.

  • Step 5

    To your cooking vessel of choice, add the soaked kidney beans, the aromatics-spices base you just cooked, 3 cups of water, and more salt if needed.

  • Step 6

    In a pressure cooker: Bring to simmer over medium-high heat. After two whistles, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Allow for natural pressure release. Or in an Instant Pot: Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. Allow for natural pressure release. Or in a regular pot on the stove: Let the rajma simmer for 1-2 hours. Check every now and then until the beans are soft and tender. There should be no bite to them.

  • Step 7

    Serve with white basmati rice and garnish with cilantro.