Rajma – Red Kidney Beans Curry


Rajma chawal aka comfort food in a bowl! Rajma is a popular North Indian vegetarian delicacy made with red kidney beans simmered in semi thick gravy with onions, tomatoes and aromatics. This is usually served with piping hot steamed rice or chawal , hence the famous combo…Rajma-Chawal!

Here is the best part..this is the perfect curry in a hurry and a hassle free crockpot meal! I like to add bell peppers to this recipe but traditionally it is prepared without it so you don’t have to add them.

So what are you waiting for? Go for it and give it a try this weekend!!

***Please read the notes at the end for variations in the recipe.


Recipe                                Servings: 3-4                               Time: 45-60 minutes on stove 


  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) red kidney beans, rinsed or ¾ cup dry beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped or puree
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1.5 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ red or green bell pepper, cut into big chunks
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masla
  • 1 tsp. chat masala
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • cilantro for garnish
  • salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in a pot. Add bay leaf, cumin seeds, and cardamoms and let them crackle.
  2. Add chopped onions and fry until translucent.
  3. Add green chilies, chopped tomatoes, all of the above-mentioned spices, salt, turmeric and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add bell pepper and kidney beans and sauté for couple minutes.
  5. Add water and let it simmer on medium- low heat for 20-30 minutes to get desired consistency for curry.
  6. Mash some of the beans with back of the spatula or spoon to make it thicker.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice!

Crockpot cooking method

  • Add all ingredients except cilantro and let it cook on low for 7-9 hours.
  • You can even grind onions, tomatoes, chilies in a food processor before adding to the crockpot.



  • Cook soaked beans in a pressure cooker on high heat until 2 whistles and then on medium low for 10 minutes. Use it in the recipe above.
  • Heat a tbsp. of ghee/butter in a pan, add some julienned ginger to it and mix it in with the cooked rajma right before serving for an extra delicious flavor.
  • You can leave the bell peppers out if using crockpot, as it might get too mushy. Or add them couple hours before serving.

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