March 12, 2020

Rajma Chawal | Indian Style Bean Curry with Rice | Easy Gluten Free Vegan Indian Dishes

Beans and Rice - How many zillion combos can you make with that ? That’s exactly the possibitiles that the bloggers at ICC (No ,not the Cricket Body!!), but Improv Cooking Challenge poses every month, where a set of ingredients are given, and multiple dishes (varying across cuisine and courses) are dished out. 

Despite signing up a few months ago, I couldn’t participate. But Rajma-Chawal (Kidney Beans curry + Rice  : an Indian favourite) fit the bill appropriately and here’s my version of making the ever-popular dish from India. Rajma a.k.a Kidney beans features regularly in my house in other dishes, so this dish got made exclusively for this event :)

The spice levels in the dish are medium, and as it's a very forgiving recipe , it can be made in bulk, stores well and also feeds a crowd. 

So, let’s get cooking! 

Considering that this bean is not so popular at my family, I have found the following ways to feed the uber-protein-rich bean to the family :

In Indian households, there are a zillion ways to make today’s dish. This is a method I learnt from a neighbour and considering I make it rarely, it works for me. Some purists would add Kaali Urad dal (black Split gram) also to Rajma, but I make it only with the beans.

Soak time - 10 hours, Cook time - 15 + 15 mins ; serves - 2 to 3 

What you need:
Rajma ( I used the Kashmiri / small variety) - 2/3 cup (1 cup=200 ml)
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Whole spices - Bay leaf - 1 , whole cardamom - 1 , cinnamon - 1 inch
Garnish - lemon juice 1 tsp + chopped cilantro 1 tsp

Masala / spice paste:
Onions - 2 large
Tomato - 1 large
Red chilli - 2 medium
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp

Dry spices :
garam masala - 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder  - 1 tsp
Amchur / Dry mango powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Jeera / cumin powder - 1 tsp

How to:
Wash and soak the beans for 8 hours or overnight. After that, drain all the water, add fresh water and cook till tender (and slightly mushy). Drain and retain the water in which you cooked the bean. 
In a pan, heat oil. Add the whole spices, saute for 1 min. 
Then, saute the onion-tomato paste till oil leaves the sides - about 2-3 mins on medium heat. 
Now add the turmeric, dry spices, salt and the cooked beans along with some of the cooked water.
Mix well and let it simmer on low flame for 8-10 mins till the dish turns creamy
Garnish with chopped cilantro and lemon juice and serve hot with steamed Rice / any flatbread

March Improv Cooking Challenge - Let's see what the others have dished for this theme of Beans and Rice 


  1. This looks like a wonderful, flavorful, filling dish!

    1. it was - thank you for dropping by, Rebekah !

  2. So glad you could join us Kalyani. Great recipe.


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