Vegetarian Rajma (Kidney Bean Dish)

Kidney beans are a staple around our house. I make Rajma at least once per week – varying the spices to avoid monotony. Aside from being a tasty, versatile protein, kidney beans are reportedly good for improving cholesterol levels too. I soak and cook the kidney beans myself and freeze in 2 cup portions. That method is shown below, after the rajma recipe, but canned beans work just fine.


1 – 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium-sized onion, in small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/2 inch piece ginger, grated
4-6 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/2 pepper (cayenne), to taste
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
2 cups cooked kidney beans
Optional additions or omissions: 1/2 tsp. cumin powder; 1/2 tsp. coriander powder; 1/4 tsp. paprika; 1/2 tsp. chilli powder; omit ginger; increase the amount of tomatoes

Warm the oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion and saute over low heat til lightly browned (about 8-10 minutes). Add garlic and ginger, cook for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, salt and all preferred spices. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, about 10 minutes (stirring occasionally) til a sort of tomato pulp is formed. Then add the kidney beans and 1/2 to 1 cup water. Bring to boil again and reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust spices. Serve hot over rice.

How to Soak and Cook Kidney Beans:
Pick over dry kidney beans to remove any debris. Rinse the beans and then soak in plenty of cold water overnight.

In the morning, drain* and rinse the kidney beans, fill the pot with plenty of fresh water and bring to a full boil and boil at least 10 minutes*. Skim off any foam, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about two hours, or until beans are soft.

Remove from heat, add a bit of salt to taste and let sit for 10 minutes or so. Drain and cool. Use directly or freeze in portions.

*It is important to discard the soaking water and to boil at least 10 minutes to remove toxic effects of kidney beans. Click the ‘Kidney Beans’ link to learn more.


About Amarah Makhdumi

My website that is all about writing is at
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One Response to Vegetarian Rajma (Kidney Bean Dish)

  1. Ann says:

    Everything is very open with a really clear description of the challenges.
    It was definitely informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

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