Creamy Rajma (Restaurant Style Indian Kidney Bean Curry)

Good afternoon everyone,

Creamy, restaurant style rajma (kidney beans) is another common dish in our home.  This takes a little longer than one-pot rajma but is worth it.  I typically make this dish during the colder months as it is thick, comforting and warm.  Beautiful!

This can be served with steamed rice, jeera (cumin) rice, or with naan or roti if you like.  We usually also serve it with some salad.  Rajma is full of iron and fibre and is also a great source of antioxidants, manganese, folate, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.

We use dried kidney beans but you can use canned if you like.  Canned beans generally contain a lot of sodium so rinse them very, very well before using or omit the additional salt altogether for the recipe.

Creamy Rajma

1 cup dry kidney beans (rajma) or 2 cups cooked kidney beans
4 – 5 cups water for pressure cooking
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
3 green chilies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Pinch of asotoefida (hing – can be found in Indian grocers)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon garam masala
2 cups rajma stock or light vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon crushed kesuri methi
Salt, to taste
2 – 3 tablespoons cream or yogourt

If using dried beans, soak them over night or for at least 6 – 8 hours in enough water to keep them covered.  Drain and rinse well then choose a method of cooking them:

Pressure cooker method – Place the soaked beans in a pressure cooker with 5 cups of fresh water.  Cook on high heat for about 35 – 40 minutes (about 20 whistles).  Release pressure.  Check that the beans are tender and offer no resistance when bitten.  Drain, reserving 2 cups of the stock, and rinse.

Pot method – Place the soaked beans in a pot with 5 cups of fresh water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer the beans for at least 1 hour 40 minutes or so until the beans are tender and offer no resistance when bitten.  Add additional hot water as necessary to ensure the beans do not burn.  Drain, reserving 2 cups of the stock, and rinse.

When the beans are about 20 minutes to go, heat the oil and ghee in a large pot over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the cumin seeds and saute until they begin to crackle.  Add the onion, reduce heat to medium low and cook until the onions are carmelized.  Add the ginger garlic paste and chilies and saute about 30 seconds until the raw smells goes away.  Add the tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes have softened, about 4 or 5 minutes.

Add the coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric, hing and garam masala and stir well.  Increase heat to medium-high and saute this mixture until the oil begins to leave the sides of the paste.  It will be very thick.

Add the kidney beans and stock and stir well.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, uncovered.  The rajma will thicken.  Add the kesuri methi and salt at this point.  Add a few tablespoons of cream, stirring well and serve.  If using yogourt, stir the yogourt well and add slowly to the pot, stirring well to prevent the yogourt from curdling.

That’s it!  You’re done!  Now enjoy the smells in your kitchen and a nice, homey bowl of rajma with steamed rice, jeera rice or some rotis!

Until next time,
Peace and love,



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