Rajma Chawal

What is rajma?

Rajma = A curry made with kidney beans that’s very popular in North India. You can eat it with rice or roti.
Chawal = Rice. The rice in this recipe here is jeera (cumin) rice, which pairs well with rajma.

Timmi’s Tips and Tricks

How can I make the rice less starchy?

You can soak the rice for 30 minutes or so before cooking it. That seems to work well and makes the rice less starchy.

What garam masala should I use?

A good garam masala is vital to this dish. You can make your own using my recipe here or buy one. I’ve used and recommend the MDH one, which works great for a lot of North Indian dishes.

What rice cooker do you recommend?

I use a plastic rice cooker in the microwave (specifically this one), but you could do it on the stove or in an Instant Pot too!

Rajma Chawal

Servings: 3



  • 1 cup kidney beans
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 small tomato chopped
  • 2 green chilis chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger grated
  • 1/2 tsp jeera cumin
  • 1/2 tsp haldi turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 3/4 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • dhaniya cilantro, for garnish

Chawal (Rice)

  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 1.5 tsp ghee or oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups basmati rice
  • 3 cups water



  • Rinse the kidney beans and submerge in water for 6-8 hours, or overnight. Do not throw out the soaking water.


  • Heat pressure cooker on medium-high heat and add oil.
  • Once the oil is heated, add the cumin seeds.
  • Once the cumin starts splattering, add the onion, ginger, and green chilis. Sautee until onions are translucent.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric, salt, and red chili powder. Cook until the tomatoes soften.
  • Add a few tablespoons of the water and stir to combine.
  • Add the rajma and the water in which it was soaking. Add additional water if needed to make the total amount of water added (soaking water + additional water) 3 cups.
  • Add the pressure cooker lid and cook until one whistle sounds.
  • Lower heat to low and let cook for another 20 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off and allow the steam to naturally escape from the pressure cooker.
  • Once the lid comes off easily, remove the lid. Add garam masala and cilantro. At this point you can taste and adjust the salt as needed.

Chawal (Rice)

  • Combine the rice ingredients and cook in the way you normally cook rice. I use a microwavable rice cooker and that takes 13 minutes on high.

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