Growing up in India, Rajma (Red Kidney Beans) was my Mum’s Sunday afternoon lunch special. Rajma is red kidney beans in a gravy, we serve it with basmati rice, some raw onions or cucumber and fresh curd (or yoghurt) on the side.

Every cuisine has their version of rice and beans, Rajma Chawal (Chawal means rice) is typically popular among North Indians. It is a simple yet insanely popular recipe, especially in Jammu region. Dogra’s in Jammu love their Rajma and Chawal. You can easily find small street food vendors serving Rajma Chawal with heaps of Ghee (Clarifie Butter) on top.

This recipe is Vegan friendly. I have not used any Ghee in this recipe, because I'm not a big fan of it (please don't come for me, I just don't vibe with ghee!🙈) If you like ghee, use that instead of oil.

You can choose to add more whole spices to this recipe or completely take out the whole spices, as you wish. I have kept them to real basic, because I wanted to make like my mum does. ❤️


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Soaking: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Serves : 4-5 People


For Boiling Rajma

  • 1 Cup Kidney Beans
  • 3-4 Cups Water
  • 1tsp Salt

For the Gravy

  • 2tbsp Oil
  • 1tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Black Cardamom
  • 1 1/2 Large Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2tbsp Ginger crushed
  • 1tbsp Garlic crushed
  • 1 1/2 Large Tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1tsp Green Chilli (sliced or diced)
  • To taste Salt
  • 1tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 2tsp Garam Masala
  • 1-2 Cups Boiled Kidney Beans Water
  • To garnish Coriander


  • Soak the kidney beans over night before boiling. (If you forgot to do this step, don't worry, add plenty of water to the pressure cooker and boil for about 20 minutes or until soft.)
  • Drain and add kidney beans to a pressure cooker, add fresh water and salt. Close the lid.
  • Turn the heat to high until 1 whistle and then lower it down to low-to-medium heat and cook for another 4-5 whistles.
  • In the meantime, prepare the gravy masala. Grab a pan and add oil.
  • Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds, peppercorns and black cardamom, cook until slightly brown or fragrant.
  • On high heat, add onions and sauté until golden brown. Add a little salt to help with sautéing.
  • Then add ginger and garlic paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. We don’t want raw ginger garlic taste, but make sure to not overcook it, reduce the heat if required.
  • Then add the finely chopped tomatoes & green chilli and reduce the heat to low.
  • Add turmeric, garam masala, Kashmiri red chilli powder & cook until the oil starts separating from the gravy masala. Should take about 20 minutes.
  • Once your kidney beans are boiled, and the steam is released completely, carefully open the pressure cooker. If the beans are not soft, turn the heat on and boil in the cooker until soft (add more water if needed).
  • Strain the beans and keep the boiled kidney beans water on the side, to use later in the gravy.
  • Add the strained kidney beans to the gravy masala you have prepared and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the reserved boiled kidney beans water as required. I am adding about 1-2 Cups.
  • Give everything a good mix and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, add fresh chopped coriander.
  • Serve it with hot rice, garnish with fresh coriander, have raw onion or cucumber and some yoghurt on the side. Enjoy! :)