Yes, yes, I know. You haven't been waiting with bated breath for me to post my Rajma recipe. Or have you?
It's incredible that after nearly seven and a half years of food-blogging-- mostly about Indian food -- I wake up and find that I never got around to posting this really popular Indian restaurant dish that I love and make in my kitchen at least once a month. Amazing. And inexcusable.
But I'm here to make amends with this super delicious, super healthy recipe. Rajma is rather like the lesser-known but just-as-good-looking sister of Chana Masala. Both are north Indian dishes and the ingredients that go into them are almost exactly identical. But the beans used in each-- red kidney beans in case of Rajma and chickpeas or garbanzo beans in case of Chana Masala -- give these two dishes totally different flavors.
And there you were, thinking a bean was just a bean was any old bean.
One of the reasons I love making Rajma is the fragrance that fills the house and lingers for hours after you cook it. It's a teasing, hunger-inducing, delicious fragrance that absolutely drives you nuts and makes you want to eat more and more even if you just finished eating not half an hour ago. It's not just that garam masala that goes into it, or those tomatoes, or those onions and that ginger-garlic paste. It's the chemistry of all of those ingredients marrying together that makes absolute magic.
More tasty vegan curry recipes
- Sri Lankan Eggplant Curry
- Tofu Makhani
- Easy Aloo Palak or Saag Aloo, Spinach and Potato Curry
- Vegan Palak Paneer with Tofu
- Instant Pot Kidney Beans Curry with Spinach and Potatoes
Rajma recipe, Indian Kidney Beans Curry
- 1 ½ cups red kidney beans (rajma)
- 1 medium red onion (minced)
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 2 large tomatoes (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon carom seeds ( or ajwain, optional)
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon cayenne (or any red chilli powder)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon kasoori methi (or dry fenugreek leaves, optional)
- 2 tablespoon cilantro (finely chopped)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter (like Earth Balance, optional)
- Soak the beans for a couple of hours at least or overnight, then cooked in a pressure cooker until really tender. If you are cooking on the stovetop, place enough water in the pan to cover the beans by an inch, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and let the beans cook until tender. You might need to add more water as they cook, so check every once in a way. The beans should take about an hour to become tender. Reserve the beans and the cooking liquid.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the cumin and carom seeds. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the onions.
- Saute the onions until brown spots start to appear. Add the ginger-garlic paste, saute for a few seconds, then add the tomatoes.
- Add the garam masala, coriander powder, paprika and cayenne. Stir to mix well. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the tomatoes cook on medium heat until they are completely broken down. You can help the process along by adding ½ cup of the bean stock.
- Add the beans to the saucepan, stir well to mix, then add the kasoori methi, crushing the dry leaves as you add to powder them.
- Add some water or the bean cooking stock to thin out the gravy, if it's too thick. I like to take a potato masher at this point and mash some of the kidney beans to make the gravy thick and creamy.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the beans cook for another 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Stir in coriander leaves and take off the heat. Stir in the optional vegan butter at this point.
- Serve hot.
I live in Argentina and it is difficult to get some of the spices for your recipes here.
I can't find dried fenugreek leaves, so I'm wondering if I could use ground fenugreek seeds instead.
Same with curry leaves, impossible to find here. What can I use instead? (this question is for another recipe)
Thanks for your hep.
Hi Van, can you find dried mint? If yes, use that and not the ground fenugreek seeds. In most recipes cilantro would work as a sub for curry leaves--the flavors are very different but each is appealing in its own way.
thanks a lot Vaishali!
I have dried mint leaves from my garden! And I love mint, so wonderful.
I'll try this Rajma and the Masoor Dahl tomorrow and let you know.
Thanks again for your prompt response (you always answer in time!)
Awesome, look forward to hearing how it goes!
I made this last night and my partner said he’d be happy if that was his last meal ?
This recipe is outstanding - restaurant quality for sure. Didn’t need any salt. Question: your ingredients list has turmeric but the directions do not (the directions have paprika but the ingredients list does not). Do you add the turmeric where it says to add the paprika, or...? Thanks!
Sounds very good and delic tasty. Thanks for this recipe!
Thank you! I love your blog! I can't believe it's taken me this long to read it. Hope you are doing well!
Thanks for your kind words! Always happy to see a new reader. 🙂