Recipe of the Week: Rajma Chawal (Kidney Bean Curry & Rice)

Ask any Indian their favorite home-cooked food and they’ll tell you it’s Rajma Chawal aka kidney bean curry with rice. It’s one of the traditional Indian recipes that is cooked nearly across India, in various styles. But the main concept is kidney beans curried over steamed rice. My D loves it when I make rajma chawal and I always get lots of praises from him. Even my little Ni will eat it up without any fuss. As for me, I die for my mom’s home-cooked rajma chawal. Whenever she makes it, the house smells of the delicious Tilda Basmati and mixture of spices within the curry. Serve it with sliced onions and bang you’ve found my weakness.

Last night, I made rajma chawal for D. It’s been a while since I’ve made it, as we’ve tried more greens cooked Indian style lately. So, I thought why not surprise him with his favorite meal. I wanted to share the recipe with all of you too. I know if you try it out, you’ll thank me. It’s one of the most heartiest meals out there and will hit just the perfect spot; especially in this “polar vortex” we’re battling in North America these days.

Here’s the recipe!

1 large onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
Large chunk of ginger, diced (the more the better)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 large tsp curry powder
1-1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cans of kidney beans (don’t strain them)
Handful of coriander leafs for garnish
3-4 tsp vegetable or olive oil
1 cup water

Here’s what you do:

  1. Over medium heat, in a large pot, add oil and add cumin seeds. Let cumin seeds pop and brown (1-2 minutes).
  2. Add in onions, ginger, garlic and salt. The salt will help brown the ingredients faster.
  3. Add tomatoes, mix and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add dry spices; chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, curry powder and mix well. Turn heat down to 2-3 (mid-way between low and medium) and cook until the spices have blended into the onions, ginger and garlic and the oil raises to the top (4-5 minutes).
  5. Turn heat up to high and add kidney beans and water. Mix well and let everything come to a boil.
  6. Once boiling begins, reduce heat, add coriander leafs and let simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Serve with sliced onions lightly seasoned with fresh lemon juice and salt/pepper and pour over steamed rice or serve with roti and enjoy!

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