comforting Rajma Chawal

Comforting and nutritious

Rajma is a North Indian dish with many regional variations. This traditional Punjabi version is a comforting, wholesome meal that comes together quickly with some simple ingredients. Serve with jeera chawal (Indian style cumin rice).   

This recipe is:

  • Make ahead
  • Great leftovers
  • Comforting
  • Nutritious

If you love this rajma chawal, try our Cozy Bean and Lentil Red Wine Chili next.

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Rajma Chawal

Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1 can low-sodium red kidney beans (540ml) (or 1 cup dried kidney beans, soaked in 5 cups water overnight)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (any kind, approximately 1/2 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely minced
  • 2 tomatoes, finely diced (approximately one cup) (or can sub 1 cup tomato sauce)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp neutral oil
  • 1-2 cups water

Jeera Chawal

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp oil
  • 1/4 cup frozen green peas (optional)


  • If using dried kidney beans, after soaking overnight, boil until soft (about 30 mins). If using canned kidney beans, do not drain or rinse, the canning liquid will help emulsify the dish.
  • Heat oil in a pot and add cumin seeds.  
  • When the cumin seeds have turned a shade darker, after about 1 minute, add the onions.  
  • Once the onions have started to sweat, add the ginger and garlic. Sauté until it reaches a dark brown shade, and everything has broken down fully, about 10 mins. Deglaze with water as needed.  
  • Add jalapeño, turmeric, and salt and sauté for one minute.  
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for about 15 mins, until fully broken down. If using tomato sauce, use the back of your spoon to assist the process. 
  • Add the kidney beans and mix gently.
  • If using canned kidney beans, add 2 cups of water. If using soaked and boiled kidney beans, add 1 cup of water.  
  • Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • While the rajma simmers, add the rinsed rice, water, cumin seeds, salt, and oil to another pot and simmer until all the water has absorbed.  
  • Garnish the rajma with cilantro and serve over the rice.  


Recipe Cost Breakdown

Servings: 2
Quantity Measure Cost
Low-Sodium Kidney Beans 1 can 1.49
Onion 1   0.40
Garlic 3 cloves 0.05
Ginger 1 piece 0.06
Jalapeno Pepper 1/2   0.14
Tomatoes 2   1.58
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp 0.007
Turmeric 2 tsp 0.05
Salt 2 tsp 0.05
Fresh Cilantro 2 tbsp 0.03
Neutral Oil 2 tsp 0.16
Basmati Rice 1 cup 0.68
Green Peas (optional) 1/4 cup 0.14
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp 0.02
Salt 1/4 tsp 0.002
Oil 1/4 tsp 0.02
Total cost/recipe     4.88
Total cost/serving     1.63
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Watch Ishtmeet make ‘Rajma Chawal’