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Rajma, Indian kidney beans in a tomato onion sauce, in a white ceramic bowl with a cilantro garnish. Next to it are two crisscrossed spoons, a white napkin on a wood background
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5 from 3 votes

Rajma recipe, Indian Kidney Beans Curry

A rajma is a spicy north Indian dish of red kidney beans in a thick tomato-onion gravy. You have possibly eaten it at an Indian restaurant, but, with my simple recipe, it's just as easy to make it at home. Serve it with naan or rice and a raita for a delicious meal.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Curry
Cuisine: Indian, Indian veg recipes
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Rajma
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 53kcal


  • 1 ½ cups red kidney beans (rajma)
  • 1 medium red onion (minced)
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 large tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp carom seeds ( or ajwain, optional)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp cayenne (or any red chilli powder)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp kasoori methi (or dry fenugreek leaves, optional)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (finely chopped)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp 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.


Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 333IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg