Punjabi Rajma Chawal Recipe (Kidney beans Curry Rice)
Since legumes provide the bulk of protein for vegetarians, its inevitable that it is one of my go to ingredients. I prefer having a variety of such options to vary my meals. They are abundant in protein and help to feel satisfied faster. Out of 250 odd recipe request I have in my "to-do" list, at least 150 of them are simple day to day recipes. So this Rajma Chawal is one such dish. Rajma in Hindi means "Kidney Beans" and Chawal means "Rice". This, in short, you can call as Kidney Beans and Rice. But unlike pilafs where everything is mixed together as one pot meal, this popular Punjabi dish, is enjoyed as a side dish of spiced kidney beans curry along with rice. Two different elements cooked separately comes together as a final dish.
Punjabi Rajma Chawal Recipe (Kidney beans Curry Rice)
You can make this kidney beans curry as a side to Roti's (flatbread), Naan etc as well. This tastes even better the next day. I normally tend to make extra just to have some leftovers :).  Its immensely versatile and you can adjust the amount of spices according to your preference. A little dollop of ghee/butter towards the end while serving with rice completes this dish :)
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • Yields: Around 4-5 cups
  • 1 cup dried Kidney beans - see Tips
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (or use cumin)
  • about 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1-2 green chillies thinly sliced (or as per taste)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin-coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp amchur powder (dry mango powder) (or use lemon juice)
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro and finely chopped onions for garnish
  • For the spice bag
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2-3 whole green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-5 black pepper
1. Kidney beans: You can use canned kidney beans. You would need about 3 cups worth. You can also make a big batch of beans before hand and store in the fridge.
1. Soak the kidney beans overnight. Of course you can use store bought canned beans. Make sure to drain them well and rinse in cold water before using them.
2. Before cooking the kidney beans, make a spice bag by packing the spices in the "spice bag" section of the ingredients list in a cheesecloth, tie it up and drop it in the water along with kidney beans.
3. Once cooked, removed the spice bag and discard. I use Pressure Cooker and it takes about 10-12 minutes for it cook.

Note: Check out my Instant Pot Kidney Beans
4. Meanwhile in a skillet, add 1 tsp of oil (for the traditional Punjab richness, add Ghee instead), saute the fennel seeds, onions, chilli and ginger along with little salt.
5. Once soft add the spice powders and saute for few more seconds.
6. Add the tomatoes.
7. Add little water and Cook until tomatoes are soft.
8. Add the kidney beans along with cooking water.
9. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Taste and season if needed. You can add more water depending on the consistency you like. Break down some of the kidney beans to thicken the gravy.
The traditional way is to enjoy it with plain rice. You can also serve it along with chapathi, roti, naan or any pulav if desired. I like to garnish it with finely chopped red onions and cilantro. This plate of hot Rajma Chawal finds its way to Siri's MLLA this month.
Punjabi Rajma Chawal Recipe (Kidney beans Curry Rice)

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19 Member Reviews

By m on Sep 1, 2013

I made it exactly the same way as the recepie for my son who liked it very much.thanks .

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By Kim on Jan 7, 2013

My first real recipe to impress a friend. She was gobsmacked and so was I :) totally delicious :D

Read All 19 Reviews →


By Sudha on Dec 14, 2013

Hi, Thank you for an amazing recipe, followed it to the T. Turned out to be the best Rajma I've ever had and couldn't believe that I made it. Couldn't wait till lunch, had a small cup as is when I finished cooking :) Thanks again, this is my favourite dish and being a South Indian never got it right every time I tried before. Sudha

By Weekly Meal Plan – Making everyday cooking easy #13 on Sep 22, 2013

[...] Rice, Rajma Chawal [...]

By pooja pandey on Sep 11, 2013

Although my husband n evn my frnz say dat I m a good cook bt still I believe my Rajma z nt cuming upto my expectation....D rich creamy taste z alwaz missing....i..i hav to prepare Rajma tomorow n... I hope dis recipe wud help me a lot..... Thnx fr sharing....luking frwd fr more such recipes

By Samvidha on Sep 4, 2013

I just added garlic to the recipe! You can try it! Tastes even better!

By Jas on Aug 23, 2013

I made it just the way as it was written . Awesome . Thank u

By GS on Aug 13, 2013

If i directly add spices mentioned for spice bag in rajma before boiling it..will it work same

By Princy on Jul 21, 2013

Hi I just made this and your concord grapes jam i must say both the results were truly awesome.I'm linking your pages in my posts.Hope thats ok.Thanks for the lovely pictorials.

I am glad you are liking the recipes. The cook in me is extremely happy and grateful. Thank you :) --DK

By Manika on Jul 16, 2013

DK, I am completely in love with your food blog! This recipe looks delicious! One quick question - I use canned rajma, in that case, how should I use the spice bag ? (since I wouldn't boil the rajma so I cant boil the spices with it). Thanks!:)

By Aparna Mudi on Jul 8, 2013

Going to try this recipe today! thanks.

By Leena on Jul 2, 2013

Hey! It's delicious.... :lol: :lol: :lol:

By Pandu on Jun 30, 2013


By saima on Jun 23, 2013

Its awsome... i m gonna try this rajma chawal today :)

By abhilasha on Jun 8, 2013

when to add aamchur? it is not mentioned in the steps.

Pls refer Step 5. Aamchur is included in the "spice powders" --DK

By sam on Feb 2, 2013

:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

By Sofia on Nov 11, 2012

:) This is the second time i have made it! My husband loves the way you do it! Thankyou!

I am happy that you guyz like it :) --DK

By lucky on Oct 17, 2012

hey thanks for the delicious recepie,today i wann do it.its really help me :-P

By Surekha on Sep 23, 2012

Thank you ! was looking for this recipe from a long time :-D

By Radhika Ghosal on Sep 4, 2012

Love It... :wink: :-D :lol: :) :mrgreen:

By Nisha on Aug 12, 2012

If i use canned beans when do i prepare the spice bag and how do i use it

By trupti warke on Aug 8, 2012

hey it's nice recipe :oops: :wink: :-P

By pari on Jun 22, 2012

I always used grind tomato and onion in place of chopped one.It becomes more tastier with a great consistency of grevy.u can try this.U will definitly like it. :-P

By shama on May 26, 2012

:) thanx for the receipe i make ths for the first time..as ever

By srijeeta chatterjee on Apr 17, 2012

:-P excellent reciepe :lol:

By 12# on Mar 21, 2012

Hey thax!!! i m jus married.. n dnt knw hw to cook!!! i stay with my hubby in swiss.. 2day gonna prepare rajma chawal.. hpe he like it!!!! :wink: :wink:

By Jayeeta on Feb 23, 2012

:twisted: hey...i just wrote a whole post on my experience of cooking the rajma chawal...while previewing i wanted to edit my post...n lost the entire post!!! :cry:

By Harita Tiwari on Feb 10, 2012

Hi, Thanks for the recipe..Its been two and a half yrs of my marriage and I never prepared Rajma till date....suddently this wednesday my husband said that he wants to eat Rajma chawal this weekend....I never knew how to prepare rajma...but your this site really helped me...pictures added an advantage...After having Rajma Rice my hubby really liked the taste and appreciated me....Thanks again...its a really taste and easy to prepare recipe.. :-P

By Sasha on Dec 23, 2011

This dish is my favorite ^_^ " I love this food" I t's delicious...! :lol: :wink: :-D

By shardha on Oct 28, 2011

Jst ckng it fr my frnds. Its simple and easy to cook. Hope dy like it!!!!!

By Steven on Oct 23, 2011

LOVE that your recipe used amchur. The tomatoes in India are a little sour, but sweet here, so that little adjustment made the rajma taste authentic. A little ghee? I lot of ghee! :lol: Cheers,

By asma on Sep 12, 2011

:lol: hi chef actually i boiled it without putting the spice bag it effect the taste or not please sugest me

By Noman on Aug 12, 2011

Hi, I am just making this dish. Its my first cooking attempt; I hope its not a disaster :)

By Jisha on Jul 28, 2011

Hie.......... M a die hard Rajma fan but i was not findin d purfct Rajma Chawal recipe & then i stumble upon ur site & tadaaaaaaah.. i jus fel in luv wd it...thanx a tonn..twas an answer to my prayers...

By Padma naidu on Jul 14, 2011

Adding the spice bag while pressure cooking is really an awesome idea!innovative! am gonna try it for other preparations too... :)

By Jaybee on Jun 23, 2011

The Chef should know the difference between fennel seeds and cummin seeds ie Zeera ; the effect and affect are quite surprising and different to the taste of the dish. Cheers!

I dunno about chefs, but Oh I do know the difference. The (or cumin) was written to mean that you can use Fennel OR Cumin if you like instead of fennel....I thought it was understood, guess i assume too much :)

By nyginko on May 22, 2011

[For the rajmah] While I am going out for the poblanos, I will not pass up a bunch of fresh cilantro as well!

By nyginko on May 22, 2011

While looking at DK's wonderful web pages today about butter beans, I realized I have k i d n e y beans cooked in the refrigerator. So I looked through DKs recipes for refried beans, rajma, and more. Now I'm making this rajmah: my beans are in the pot with all the other ingredients, but I missing the fresh poblanos. Though I haven't done this in decades, I'll will go as quickly as I can to the nearby grocery. I 'm thinking this rajmah must have the poblanos from DKs recipe. btw, DK what is the "Kashmiri Rajmah" (Rohit Kumar) a writer mentioned here a while ago?

By pragya bhadra on Feb 24, 2011

its very very yummy and i loved it to eat. :-P :roll: 8- :wink:

By pragya bhadra on Feb 24, 2011

i liked this recipie very much. :lol: :lol: 8)

By Moumita on Jan 12, 2011


By Moumita on Jan 12, 2011

Really yummy...kudos for perfecting the rajma recipe.

By Devi on Nov 5, 2010

I made this for lunch today. Delicious! Thanks a lot for posting this recipe. Even though it may seem simple, it's really helpful for beginners like me!

By aparna on Sep 17, 2010

yumm.....awesm recipe!!

By Arti on Sep 1, 2010

I am so trying this out tonight... I'm a vegetarian so I'm getting sick of just making roti sabsi every week.. :cry: this will be different! :-P

By swa on Aug 12, 2010

what do you mean by one tablespoon of cumin coriander powder. is it half sp-oon each of cumin powder and half spoon of coriander powder

It means I used 1 tbsp of cumin-coriander powder which is a mix I get here in my Indian store. In hindi its called as dhaniya jeera powder. If you have them separately, use half half

By S on Jul 21, 2010

I love Rajma Chawal....with roti also good but with chawal is very delicious :-) Nice recipe....m going to make it today

By musical on Jul 1, 2010

This used to be my weekend food..Yummy!

By Siri on Jul 1, 2010

Yum Yum, now send this MLLA 25. :lol: Hugs, Siri :)

By Sharmila on Jul 1, 2010

I made rajma chawal for lunch today ... thought of posting it but could not click snaps due to the dull weather. And then saw this. The idea of using the spices when pressure cooking the rajma sounds good. :-)

By Sanjeeta kk on Jul 1, 2010

Reminds me of college days in Delhi, when Rajma chawal was our staple food. Love the color and clicks.

By Kavitha on Jul 1, 2010

Hi Dk, Thanks for the receipe..but i generally use garam masala and add ginger-garlic also..i havent understood the use of cheese bag as well...please explain

I am not sure what exactly you mean when you say you dont understand. Lemme explain what I think your doubt is - In a muslin cloth/cheesecloth, drop the ingredients I mentioned under "spice bag" and tie it up like a bag. Add this bag to the water which you use to cook Rajma/Kidney beans. When its cooked, throw the bag away. The purpose of this bag is to add flavor to the beans when its cooking. Once the flavor has been imparted you dont need those ingredients, you just throw them away. This is a simpler way for me to add the flavors since I dont like them if I bite them directly while enjoying rajma. I want the flavor but not the sharp bite when I bite a clove or something while eating the dish. hence I do this. Hope this is what u were asking :)

By Rohit Kumar on Jul 1, 2010

Try this with Kashmiri Rajmah. Tastes very different and better.

By annie on Jul 1, 2010

tis is a must try for me

By annie on Jul 1, 2010

tis is a must try for me :)

By CurryLeaf on Jun 30, 2010

Love the addition of spicebag while cooking.Never tried it.LOve the tempting rice DK.Give me rajma anytime slurp ...

By SD on Jun 30, 2010

I make this often, But love that Spice bag twist!!

By Deepa on Jun 30, 2010

i am making this tomorrow. :)

By Madhavi on Jun 30, 2010

Ultimate comfort food, I love rajma chawal yuummyyy :)

By Tweets that mention Punjabi Rajma Chawal Recipe (Kidney beans Curry and Rice) | Chef In You -- Topsy.com on Jun 30, 2010

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by D_K and D_K. D_K said: Nutritious and Versatile comfort food - Rajma chawal ( Kidney Beans Rice). Kidney beans cooked in a gravy of... http://fb.me/w1fJvE9d [...]