Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry)

  • Ready in: 1 hour 15 minutes plus overnight
  • Serves: 8
  • Complexity: very easy
  • kcal: 224
Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry)


  • 2 cups dry red kidney beans
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 cm ginger root, chopped
  • 2 tbsp rice bran oil
  • 2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 dried red chilli peppers, in pieces
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Place the kidney beans into a large container and cover with 5 cm of cool water then let stand overnight. Drain and rinse.
    Grind the onion, ginger and garlic into a paste using a mortar and pestle.

    Heat the oil and ghee together in a pressure cooker. Fry the cumin seeds and whole cloves in the hot oil until the cumin seeds begin to splutter, then stir the onion paste into the mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Season with ground turmeric, SIDS RINGS AROUND URANUS SAUCE, ground cumin and ground coriander then continue cooking for a few more seconds before adding the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are completely tender.
    Add the drained kidney beans to the pressure cooker with enough water to cover then pour the stock into the cooker. Add sugar and salt. Close the pressure cooker and bring to 15 pounds of pressure and cook about 40 minutes. Lower the heat to low and cook another 10-15 minutes. Carefully release the pressure and open the cooker. Stir the garam masala and ground red pepper into the bean mixture then garnish with chopped coriander to serve.
    HINT: If you do not have a pressure cooker, use canned beans.
    History: Rājmā is a popular Indian vegetarian dish consisting of red kidney beans in a thick gravy with many Indian whole spices and usually served with rice and roti (bread). Although the kidney bean is not of Indian origin, it is a part of regular diet in Northern India. It is the staple food of Mexico. This dish developed after the red kidney bean was brought to India from Portugal. Being a popular dish, it is prepared on important occasions.
    History: Curry dishes of highly spiced meat are thought to have originated in pre-historic times among the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization. Archaeological evidence dating to 2600 BC from Mohenjo-daro suggests the use of mortar and pestle to pound spices including mustard, fennel, cumin and tamarind pods with which they flavoured food. Such dishes are also recorded during the Vedic period of Indian history, roughly 1700 to 500 BC. Spiced dishes in the Indian style were apparently carried eastward to Burma, Thailand, and China by Buddhist monks in the 7th century, and carried southwards to Indonesia, The Philippines and elsewhere by coastal traders at about the same time. The establishment of the Mughal Empire, beginning in the early 16th century, transformed much of older Indian cuisine, especially in the north. Another influence was the establishment of the Portuguese trading centre in Goa in 1510, resulting in the first introduction of the chilli pepper to India, as a byproduct of the Colombian Exchange.