How to Make Rajma Chawal: Punjabi Kidney Beans and Rice

Updated on October 8, 2018
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Rajan writes to share his knowledge of health, yoga, pranayama, alternative therapies, natural remedies, food recipes, and more.

Rajma Chawal

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Rajma are red kidney beans, and when you use them to prepare a curry or gravy dish it is called rajma curry.

Rajma chawal is a dish in which boiled rice and rajma curry are each prepared separately and then combined to create a single dish.

Rajma chawal is a traditional Punjabi dish, as well as a popular street food. Usually, medium-sized rajma from Jammu, in India, are preferred—as these beans have the best taste. However, you can use any rajma you have on hand, and this dish will still taste wonderful.

Kidney beans are a high-protein food that provide a number of health benefits, as well.

To make this dish easier to make, I have simplified the recipe so there is no need to roast the spices separately. The resulting recipe is a two-pot preparation: one for the rajma curry and one for the rice. You will therefore be able to taste the range of flavors of the spices used in each dish.

Do try this dish and give your feedback in the comments section below.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients for Rice

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1.5 cups rice + sufficient water for soaking
  • 3 cups water + 1/4 cup
  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 2 tejpatta (bay leaves)
  • 1 black cardamom, coarsely crushed
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp sendha namak (rock salt), or table salt

Instructions to Cook Rice

  1. Pre-soak the rice for 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Pace a kadahi (wok) over medium heat and add oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute them until they turn pink. Then add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves, and cinnamon. Keep sauteeing the onions until they turn medium brown.
  3. Brown the onions so that the rice gets a brown tinge while cooking. If you wish to keep the rice white, do not brown the rice. When the onions have browned, add about 1/4 cup water and stir a few times.
  4. Add 1.5 tsp salt and stir a few times. Add the soaked rice without the water. Add 3 cups water and mix well. Keep the heat on high and let the water come to a boil.
  5. When the water starts bubbling a bit, cover the rice with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook until the added water dries up and keep checking a few times in between. This should take about 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes of cooking, all of the water should have boiled off. The rice is ready, but put the lid back on and let the rice sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Ingredients for Rajma Curry

  • 1 cup rajma (kidney beans), soaked in water overnight
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • 1 inch ginger, crushed
  • 1 green chili, finely crushed
  • 10-12 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium sized onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp deghi mirch (red chili powder)
  • 1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp sendha namak (rock salt), or table salt
  • 1 liter + 1 cup water

Instructions to Cook Rajma Curry

  1. In a pressure cooker, add the rajma, onions, tomatoes, crushed ginger, green chili, garlic cloves, garam masala, haldi powder, deghi mirch, salt, coriander powder, and oil. Add 1 cup water and stir to mix.
  2. Keep the heat on high. At the first whistle, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes more. Open the pressure cooker when the pressure subsides.
  3. The rajma should have softened. Keep the heat on high and stir until the water dries up; then add the kasuri methi. Roast the rajma for 8-10 minutes stirring constantly.
  4. Add 1 liter of water and mix well. Close the pressure cooker, and keep the heat on medium. At the first whistle, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let the pressure inside subside.
  6. Open the pressure cooker. The rajma will be soft. If the curry is thin, let it boil over a high flame and keep stirring it in between, until it reaches the consistency you want. Our curry took about 5 minutes to reach the desired consistency.
  7. Rajma curry is ready. Set aside.

Assembling the Rajma Curry Dish

To assemble the rajma curry dish:

  1. Put the hot rice on a plate.
  2. Pour the hot rajma curry over it.
  3. Serve.

Cast your vote for Rajma Chawal: Punjabi Kidney Beans and Rice

© 2018 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

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    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      You can always add more/less of any ingredients as per your liking. Thank you for going through the recipe manatita.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      5 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thank you Rumana.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      5 weeks ago from london

      Thanks Rajan. I think I need to use more oil and perhaps some funugreek leaves as well in my cooking. Good for me.

    • rumanasaiyed profile image

      Rumana 

      5 weeks ago from Sharjah, UAE

      Looks awesome...

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Yes, Dana, this dish is very popular in our country. Hope you can try it sometime. Thank you for visiting.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Ajodo, my friend, thank you! Dinner will be got ready anytime you come.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thank you, Peggy. Hope you can taste it someday!

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thank you, Bill, for always being here.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Rinita, that's a great way to describe it! This one dish is loved by most people. Thank you for your visit.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Char, you can always cook the kidney beans in a pot, it will just take a while longer. Appreciate your visit.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 

      6 weeks ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I love bean and rice dishes. I'm sure this is delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    • Endy Noble profile image

      Ajodo Endurance Uneojo 

      6 weeks ago from Lokoja, Nigeria.

      Jolly, you always decorate the table with good delicacies.

      When is the dinner? Lol

      Well, a well written article with adequate detail.

      Bless you!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      I like combinations of beans and rice. This recipe of yours sounds really good. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm not much of a bean eater. I don't dislike them; it's just something I rarely eat for whatever reason, but thanks for the recipe nonetheless.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      6 weeks ago

      All time favorite of mine, might even say comfort food:)

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 

      6 weeks ago from Minnesota

      It sounds interesting, but, I am afraid of my pressure cooker, so will probably not try it. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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