Recipe: Rajma


Another Punjabi dish which is is probably not as well known as it’s cousin Chole, but just as ubiquitous everywhere. This is a protein rich dish and is super yum with jeera (cumin) rice

The way I make it is inspired by Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe. I remember seeing him make this on television many many years back and started making it the same way. Over the years it’s been tweaked, so does this make it an original recipe?

Punjabi Rajma


  • 1 cup dried kidney beans, soaked in water overnight
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsps red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsps rajma masala
  • Coriander leaves to garnish


  • Wash the rajma thoroughly and cook it in a pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles till it becomes soft. You can also cook it without pressure, in a pan, but it will take quite long.
  • Chop the onions and tomatoes and peel the garlic and ginger and chop them into pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan and when warm, put in the cumin seeds. When it starts popping, add the garlic, ginger and stir for a few minutes. Then add the onions and stir and cook till they turns translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes next and a tsp of salt to help the tomatoes start watering. Let the tomatoes cook till they are mushy and well cooked.
  • Switch off the gas and let it cool completely. When cool, blend it till it becomes a smooth puree.
  • In the same pan, pour this puree and let it boil. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the cooked kidney beans, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and rajma powder. Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Let this cook well and once the whole mixture is nice and thick, switch off the gas and garnish with coriander leaves
  • Enjoy piping hot Rajma with Cumin (Jeera) rice, Rotis or Nan.


  • You can put a pinch of baking powder/soda while soaking the kidney beans overnight. This will soften it up. Remember to wash it well before cooking it to remove all traces of the baking powder/soda
  • You can buy ready-made rajma masala at any Indian store. I prefer to use the Everest brand, but you can use any that is available or the one that tickles your taste buds.



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