Rajma (One Pot Version)

Good evening everyone and Happy Easter for those of you celebrating the holiday!  Stay tuned for some Easter projects tomorrow.

In the meantime, let’s talk about Rajma.  Rajma is the subcontinental version of chili.  Using dark or red kidney beans (or a mix of both), there are as many methods and recipes of making rajma as there are people who make it.  The recipe that I’ll share with you today is for a simple, but spicy and tasty, one-pot rajma.

I make my rajma in a pressure cooker but you can make it in a slow cooker or a pot.  You will just have to adjust the times.  If you are using a pot, I recommend cooking the kidney beans first until they are soft and then continuing with the recipe, making adjustments as needed.

We like rajma for the amount of fibre, iron and protein that they add to our diet but mostly for it’s spicy, spicy goodness.

Rajma (One Pot Version)

Serves 4.  Prep time: 5 – 6 minutes; Wait time: Overnight, then 1 1/4 hours.

1  ½ cups rajma (red kidney beans), soaked overnight in 4 cups water
4 cups water
2 green chilies, chopped
2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
3 medium tomatoes, chopped ­
1 large onion, chopped ­
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon amchor (dry mango powder), available in Indian markets
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon canola oil
Salt, to taste
Cilantro leaves, to taste (optional)

Soak the dried kidney beans overnight in 4 cups of water.

Add all of the ingredients, except garam masala and salt to a pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 45 minutes (or 20 whistles if you have a pressure cooker that whistles intermittently).  Release the pressure and remove the lid.  Add the garam masala.  Mix and taste before adding salt.  Add salt to taste.  Simmer the rajma on a medium-low heat for 25 to 30 minutes until it has thickened.

Serve with fresh cilantro.


You can skip the dried spices and use 1 tablespoon of Rajma Masala instead.

Rajma can be served with rice, roti or naan.

If you want a very quick rajma, you can use canned kidney beans.  Rinse them well before adding them to the pressure cooker.  Most canned beans contain salt so be especially sure to taste your rajma at the end of cooking before adding any additional salt.

This recipe makes a medium spicy rajma.  Increase or decrease the red chili powder and/or chilies to your own tastes.

You don’t have to add oil to the pot when making rajma in this way.  We do it to ensure that we get enough healthy fats in our diet, as vegetarians.  I use canola oil most of the time but I have also used flax oil and olive oil.

Watch your pressure cooker carefully to avoid burning the rajma.  You generally want to be sure you are using a 3:1 ratio of water to soaked beans when making this dish in a pressure cooker.  In a pot or slow cooker, you can simply add more water as necessary.

As with most bean dishes, rajma always tastes best the day after it is made.

Do not add salt to the cooker at the beginning of cooking.  This will harden the skins on the beans, making them unpleasant to eat.

That’s it – simple, hearty, good for you rajma in one pot and very little prep.  Enjoy!

Until next time,

Peace and love,



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