Rajma Chawal Recipe: A Step-by-Step Guide to Prepare the Perfect Indian Dish

tasty & delicious rajma chawal recipe


Rajma Chawal is a popular and delicious Indian dish that features red kidney beans (rajma) cooked in a rich, flavorful gravy, served alongside steamed basmati rice (chawal). This vegetarian delight is loved by people across India and beyond for its hearty texture and aromatic spices. In this article, we will provide you with a detailed step-by-step guide to prepare the perfect Rajma Chawal at home, allowing you to enjoy this traditional Indian delicacy with family and friends.

  1. Ingredients: To make Rajma Chawal, you will need the following ingredients:
  • 1 cup of red kidney beans (rajma), soaked overnight
  • 1 cup of basmati rice
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil or ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing


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  1. Cooking Rajma: The first step in preparing Rajma Chawal is cooking the red kidney beans (rajma):
  • Rinse the soaked kidney beans thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or impurities.
  • Transfer the rinsed beans to a pressure cooker.
  • Add enough water to cover the beans, along with a pinch of salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.
  • Close the pressure cooker and cook the rajma on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes or until they are tender and easily mashable.
  • Once cooked, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally.
  • Open the pressure cooker and check if the beans are cooked properly. They should be soft and easily breakable between your fingers.
  • Set the cooked rajma aside while you prepare the gravy.
  1. Preparing the Gravy: The next step is to prepare the rich and flavorful gravy for Rajma Chawal:
  • Heat oil or ghee in a deep pan or kadai over medium heat.
  • Add cumin seeds to the hot oil and let them sizzle for a few seconds until they release their aroma.
  • Add the finely chopped onions to the pan and sauté them until they turn golden brown. This process will enhance the flavor and aroma of the gravy.
  • Once the onions are caramelized, add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and slit green chilies to the pan. Sauté for a minute or until the raw smell of garlic disappears.
  • Add the pureed tomatoes to the pan and mix well. Cook the mixture until the oil starts to separate from the masala, indicating that the tomatoes are well cooked.
  • Now it’s time to add the spices. Sprinkle turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and garam masala over the masala mixture. Stir well to combine all the flavors.
  • Allow the spices to cook for a minute or so, giving them time to release their aromatic oils and blend with the onion and tomato mixture.
  • Add the cooked rajma to the pan along with any remaining liquid from the pressure cooker. Mix everything together, ensuring that the rajma is well coated with the masala.
  • Use a spoon to mash some of the rajma beans against the side of the pan. This will help thicken the gravy and give it a creamy texture.
  • If needed, add a little water to adjust the consistency of the gravy. The amount of water will depend on your preference, but the gravy should be thick and coat the back of a spoon.
  • Season with salt to taste and simmer the rajma in the gravy for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  1. Cooking Basmati Rice: While the rajma is simmering, you can prepare the perfect fluffy basmati rice to serve alongside it:
  • Rinse the basmati rice under running water until the water runs clear. This helps remove any excess starch and ensures that the grains cook evenly.
  • Transfer the rinsed rice to a bowl and cover it with enough water. Allow the rice to soak for about 30 minutes. This step helps the rice cook more evenly and results in fluffy grains.
  • After soaking, drain the rice using a fine-mesh strainer to remove the excess water.
  • Transfer the soaked and drained rice to a large pot and add water in a 1:2 ratio (1 cup rice to 2 cups water).
  • Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring the water to a boil.
  • Once the water reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. This creates a steamy environment for the rice to cook gently.
  • Allow the rice to cook undisturbed for about 15-20 minutes or until the grains are tender and the water is fully absorbed.
  • Once cooked, turn off the heat and let the rice sit, covered, for a few minutes to allow the steam to distribute evenly.
  • Fluff the rice gently with a fork to separate the grains and release excess steam.
  1. Serving: Now that both the rajma gravy and basmati rice are ready, it’s time to serve the Rajma Chawal:
  • Place a generous serving of cooked basmati rice on a plate.
  • Ladle the flavorful rajma gravy over the rice, ensuring that each grain is coated with the delicious sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves for added freshness and aroma.
  • Rajma Chawal is traditionally served with a side of yogurt or raita, which helps balance the spices and adds a cooling element to the meal.
  • You can also serve it with pickles or papad (thin and crispy lentil wafers) for added texture and flavor.

Conclusion: Rajma Chawal is a delightful and satisfying dish that brings together the wholesome goodness of red kidney beans and the aromatic flavors of Indian spices. By following this step-by-step guide, you can recreate the authentic Rajma Chawal experience in your own kitchen. The tender rajma beans in a rich, flavorful gravy, combined with fluffy basmati rice, make for a truly comforting and delicious meal. So, gather the ingredients, follow the instructions, and embark on a culinary journey with Rajma Chawal— a dish that exemplifies the richness and diversity of Indian cuisine. Enjoy this traditional Indian delicacy with your loved ones and savor the flavors of this beloved dish!


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