Rajma Chawal Recipe

Rajma Chawal Recipe

30 mins
2-3 people
20 mins



Growing up, Sundays were always special in my household. The aroma of rajma simmering in the pressure cooker would fill the air, and it was a tradition I eagerly looked forward to every week. In Punjabi households, rajma holds a special place - it's not just a dish, it's an emotion. My earliest memories of rajma-chawal involve watching my mother and grandmother prepare it with utmost care, each adding their own touch to the recipe. The tantalizing scent of spices wafting from the kitchen was enough to make my mouth water. Little did I know then that this humble dish would become a staple comfort food for me, reminding me of home no matter where I am.




Recipe of Rajma Chawal




For Rajma:

  • 1 cup Rajma (kidney beans), soaked overnight
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 nos black cardamom
  • 2 nos green cardamom
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 7-8 cloves
  • 7-8 black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1-inch ginger
  • 1 green chilli
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 tsp chopped coriander leaves

For Jeera Rice:

  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Basmati rice
  • Salt to taste





For Rajma:

  1. Drain and rinse the soaked Rajma. In a pressure cooker, add the soaked Rajma along with mustard oil, salt, black cardamom, green cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, and black pepper.
  2. Pressure cook the Rajma for about 5 whistles or until they become tender and easily mashable. Once done, set the cooked Rajma aside for later use.
  3. In a separate pan, heat oil and add whole garam masala (cloves, peppercorn, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon). Let the spices crackle to release their flavours.
  4. Add chopped onions to the pan and cook them till they turn golden brown.
  5. Now, add the pounded ginger, garlic, and green chilli, sautéing them until they release their aromatic essence.
  6. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, and Kashmiri chilli powder, cooking for a while to blend the flavours.
  7. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree to the mixture and cook on a slow flame until the tomatoes become soft and the oil starts to separate.
  8. Pour the cooked Rajma along with the water used for boiling into the tomato gravy. Add salt to taste and let it simmer on a low flame, allowing the flavours to meld.
  9. Finally, finish the Rajma with kasuri methi and chopped coriander leaves, enhancing the dish with a pleasant herbaceous aroma.
  10. Garnish the Rajma with ghee before serving to add richness and depth to the dish.

For Jeera Rice:

  1. Wash and soak the basmati rice in water for one hour.
  2. In a thick-bottomed pan, heat oil and add a bay leaf and jeera (cumin seeds). Let the cumin seeds crackle to release their nutty flavour.
  3. Carefully sauté the soaked rice in the seasoned oil, ensuring the grains are coated evenly.
  4. Add water and salt to the rice, cover the pan with a lid, and allow it to cook on a slow flame for about 10 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.
  5. Gently stir the rice occasionally to prevent it from burning or sticking to the pan.


To Serve: Serve the Rajma with the aromatic jeera rice, accompanied by lacha pyaaz (onion salad), boondi raita (yoghurt with fried chickpea flour droplets), and crispy papad. Enjoy this delightful and comforting Rajma Chawal with your loved ones, creating cherished memories around the dining table.




About the Recipe:


Rajma Chawal is a quintessential North Indian dish that combines tender kidney beans cooked in a spicy gravy with aromatic basmati rice. It's a dish that transcends regional boundaries and is loved by people across the country. The key to a perfect rajma chawal lies in the careful selection of spices and the slow cooking process, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully. This hearty and wholesome meal is not just food for the body but also for the soul, evoking feelings of comfort and nostalgia with every bite. Whether enjoyed on lazy Sundays or as a quick weeknight dinner, rajma chawal never fails to delight the taste buds.



Cooking Tips:


  1. Soak the kidney beans overnight to ensure they cook evenly and become tender.
  2. Use a mix of whole and powdered spices for added depth of flavor.
  3. Be patient while cooking the rajma, allowing it to simmer on low heat until the gravy thickens and the flavors intensify.
  4. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and a dollop of ghee for extra richness.
  5. Serve hot with steamed basmati rice for the perfect comforting meal.



Pairing Guide:


Rajma Chawal pairs wonderfully with a variety of accompaniments, enhancing its flavors and textures. Here are some delicious pairing options:


  • Freshly made onion-tomato salad with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Crispy papadums for that satisfying crunch.
  • A cooling cucumber raita to balance the spiciness of the dish.
  • Pickled green chilies for those who like it extra spicy.
  • A side of tangy mango pickle to add a zingy kick to each bite.




Frequently Asked Questions about Rajma Chawal:


  1. How long should I soak the kidney beans before cooking?
    • It's recommended to soak the kidney beans overnight or for at least 8 hours for best results.
  2. Can I use canned kidney beans instead of dried ones?
    • Yes, you can use canned kidney beans for convenience, but the texture and flavor may differ slightly.
  3. What spices are essential for authentic rajma chawal?
    • Key spices include cumin seeds, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric, and red chili powder.
  4. How can I make rajma chawal less spicy?
    • Adjust the amount of red chili powder according to your preference, or omit it altogether for a milder version.
  5. Can I freeze leftover rajma chawal?
    • Yes, you can freeze leftover rajma chawal in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat before serving.
  6. What should I do if my rajma gravy is too thin?
    • Continue cooking the rajma uncovered on low heat until the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.
  7. Is it necessary to garnish with coriander leaves?
    • While garnishing with coriander adds freshness and flavor, it's optional and can be omitted if desired.
  8. Can I use brown rice instead of basmati rice?
    • Yes, you can substitute brown rice for basmati rice for a healthier option, but adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  9. Is rajma chawal suitable for vegans?
    • Yes, rajma chawal is a vegan-friendly dish as long as ghee is replaced with a plant-based alternative or omitted.
  10. What side dishes complement rajma chawal?
    • Popular side dishes include salad, raita, papadums, pickle, and yogurt-based dips.


Enjoy your delicious journey with rajma chawal, a dish that never fails to warm the heart and satisfy the soul!