Rajma Chawal – Kidney Bean Curry & Rice

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing fantastic.

Remember the rhyme, “Beans beans, they’re good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you fart. The more you fart, the better you feel. So eat your beans with every meal!” Well today, I am going to share my recipe on Rajma Chawal. This is an Indian recipe, particularly a Punjabi recipe, which in literal English translation means, Kidney Beans and Rice. This is a great and easy recipe for those semi-windy or chilly days or those days you are craving comfort food but don’t want to intake those uncomforting calories. Rajma Chawal is packed with protein adding the right amount of carbs coming from the rice. You can use dry kidney beans or canned kidney beans. You can cook them on a stove top, in a slow cooker, or a pressure cooker. I used dry kidney beans and cooked the Rajma on the stove top, so I will post directions for that. However, I will post directions for canned kidney beans and how to cook them in a slow cooker and pressure cooker at the end.


  • 2 cups of dried kidney beans
  • 3 small tomatoes
  • Half an onion
  • Garam masala
  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne pepper or Lal mirch
  • Garlic and/or Garlic powder
  • Salt


  1. Rinse the dry kidney beans and place in a large bowl. Cover the kidney beans until they’re submerged in water. Cover and leave overnight or for at least 3 hours.
  2. After letting the kidney beans sit, drain the water.FullSizeRender.jpg
  3. Place all of the kidney beans in a large pot and add 3 quarts, or about 10 cups of water. Don’t worry, the water will evaporate and thicken, but make sure there is enough water again.
  4. Place the large pot with the kidney beans and water on the stove over high heat.
  5. Bring to boil for 10 minutes on high. Covering the pot in the beginning may help boil the water.IMG_9790.JPG
  6. Cover and simmer on medium-low for 1 hour or until the beans are tender.IMG_9788.JPG
  7. Once the beans are tender, turn off the heat and set the pot aside.
  8. Finely chop the garlic, half an onion, and tomatoes.IMG_9791.JPG
  9. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add a little bit of oil or cooking spray and sauté the garlic and onion until browned.IMG_9793.JPG
  10. Add to the pot of kidney beans.
  11. Re-spray or add oil to the skillet.
  12. Add the tomatoes and sauté over high heat until they’re mushed and watered down. This will take about 5-7 minutes.IMG_9792.JPG
  13. Add to the pot of kidney beans.IMG_9795.JPG
  14. Turn the pot with the Rajma on low heat and add the spices and seasoning according to your taste: at least 1 spoon of Garam Masla, only half a spoon of turmeric, at least half a spoon of cayenne pepper or lal mirch, garlic powder, and salt to taste.IMG_9794.JPG
  15. Stir well and then simmer on low for about 10 minutes so the liquid thickens into curry.
  16. To make the chawal, rice, bring a pot of about 1.5 cups of water to a boil and add 1 cup of rice. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until water is diminished.
  17. Serve with naan bread!IMG_9796.JPGIMG_9798.JPGIMG_9799.JPGIMG_9797-1.JPG

Suggestions, Substitutions, Tips & Tricks:

  • Rajma serves about 4. Chawal serves about 2.
  • Dry beans, especially dry red kidney beans, contain a toxin called Phytohaemagglutinin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Soaking and boiling dry beans helps remove this toxin to make beans safe to eat.
  • Of course, half an onion is optional. Feel free to use a whole onion or more cloves of garlic if desired!
  • Add as much spices and seasoning as your tongue desires.
  • I think dry kidney beans are more organic and cooking on a stove top is faster. However canned beans and using a slow cooker or pressure cooker is just fine too.
  • If you use canned beans, rinse the beans in cold water and set them aside submerged in water overnight or for at least 3 hours. Continue with remaining steps of recipe.
  • If you are using a pressure cooker, add enough water to cover the beans and then cook for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to simmer after the first whistle and cook until the second whistle. Remove from heat and let the pressure subside on its own, without removing the weight for 5 minutes. Remove the weight, and open the pressure cooker. Set beans aside and do not drain the liquid. Continue with remaining steps of recipe.
  • If you are using a slow cooker, put all the ingredients into a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Cook on High for 8 hours or until the beans break down and become creamy.

Go ahead and make a big pot of Rajma with no labor work at all! The kitchen appliances do all of the work. That’s the best kind of recipe. Rajma Chawal is the perfect and most easiest meal to make. It’s the perfect leftover meal for lunch, a snack, or a side dish. Just don’t blame me for the latter part of the rhyme!

Tag me on Instagram, @cookingwithovenmitz, if you do make it. I would love to see your version of it. Click follow and hit the like button to keep updated on new recipes!

See you next Wednesday!

– Mitz