Rajma Chawal | Easy One Pot Rajma with Steamed Rice

Rajma chawal with step by step photos. Rajma chawal is one of the regulars at any Punjabi house. On weekends, rajma chawal or Dal makhani or Chana masala or Punjabi kadhi pakora is kind of must in any Punjabi home and in my home too.

Here Rajma means kidney beans gravy and Chawal means rice. I am sharing here both the methods of making rajma and chawal (steamed rice) with step by step pics.

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rajma curry recipe, rajma chawal recipe

This quick and easy one pot rajma made without cream, that I am posting here is another one of mom in law’s fabulous Punjabi recipe. It is her special recipe and it is special in one more sense. It is a really, really simple and easy rajma recipe – no grinding, no sauteing, no frying of anything.

This is a one pot rajma gravy that you can make regularly at home. A rajma that you eat at Punjabi homes – not spicy, thick or creamy like the rajma masala served in restaurants.

This homely recipe is mildly spiced and not heavy as no cream is used. Overall a delicious easy gravy that goes well with steamed rice or chawal. If you are looking for a restaurant version, then you check this link for making Restaurant Style Rajma Masala.

In most Punjabi homes the kidney beans are cooked till they become soft enough to melt in the mouth. Whereas in many of the restaurants I have eaten the beans are just cooked.

I suggest cooking the kidney beans fully so that they become soft and easy to digest. Remember, well-cooked kidney beans are easy to digest. Another important point which I must mention about making rajma is to soak the beans overnight so that they take less time to cook in the pressure cooker.

I must also mention that the Rajma served in Jammu Kashmir region of India are also very delicious and famous.

If you get a chance to go to Jammu or to the Holy Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine or in Kashmir, then don’t forget to order Rajma chawal there. You can check the recipe here – Jammu Rajma (with red kidney beans).

Punjabi rajma is best served with steamed rice. In fact, the combo of rajma chawal is quite popular and liked by many people. At home, we also have rajma with steamed rice, chapati or phulka or lachedar paratha. You can also serve rajma with bread or cumin rice.

How to make one pot rajma (without cream)

1. Soak 1 cup (200 grams) rajma (kidney beans) in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.

soaked rajma, kidney beans

2. the next day or after 8 to 9 hours, drain the soaked water.

rajma, kidney beans

3. Rinse the kidney beans again in fresh clean water.

rajma, kidney beans

4. drain them and keep aside.

rajma, kidney beans

5. Chop the veggies – 1 large onion (1oo gms), 3 medium tomatoes (200 gms), 1 inch ginger, 7 to 8 medium sized garlic and 1 green chilli. Keep aside.

veggies for rajma recipe

Making rajma gravy

6. In a pressure cooker add the kidney beans along with the chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies.

cooking rajma masala

7. Now add the spices – 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon red chili powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and salt as per taste.

spices for rajma masala

8. pour 2.5 cups water (625 ml).

water for rajma masala recipe

9. stir very well.

stir rajma masala

10. Add 2 tablespoons butter or oil.

butter for rajma recipe

11. stir again.

stir rajma masala

12. cover tightly and pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame.

cooking rajma masala

13. Once the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and check the beans. The kidney beans have to be cooked completely. Taste a few beans and they should be melt in the mouth without giving you any bite or resistance while eating. If the beans are still not cooked completely, then add about 1/2 cup more of water and pressure cook again for 5 to 6 whistles or as required.

cooked rajma, cooked kidney beans

14. Once the kidney beans have softened and are cooked well, then check the gravy also. You will see a thin water-like stock with the tomatoes and onions floating. So you have to continue to simmer till the gravy thickens a bit.

rajma masala gravy, rajma gravy

15. Keep the cooker on the stovetop without lid and on a low to medium flame to simmer the gravy.

simmer rajma masala

16. When you keep the rajma gravy on the stovetop, then add 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur).

add amchur to rajma masala

17. Add about ¾ to 1 tsp garam masala powder.

garam masala for easy rajma recipe

18. Stir well and simmer till the gravy consistency thickens. Mash a few kidney beans with the back of a spoon to thicken the consistency.

simmering rajma curry, rajma masala recipe

19. When the consistency of the gravy is no longer broth-like or water-like and thickened somewhat like the one shown in the pic below. Then the rajma gravy is ready. If you want you can thicken the gravy more, if having with chapati or phulka. But if having rajma with rice or chawal then no need to thicken the gravy. Lastly check the taste and add more of salt, garam masala, red chilli powder or dry mango powder if required. You can even garnish rajma with some coriander leaves.

rajma recipe, rajma masala recipe

How to make steamed rice

1. I am sharing the absorption method of cooking rice. You can take the amount of rice that you plan to serve. I have here taken 1 cup heaped basmati rice (200 grams). Note that basmati rice triples in volume once cooked. So 1 cup raw basmati rice will give approx 3 to 3.5 cups of cooked rice. Take the rice grains in a bowl and begin to rinse the rice grains in running water. Rinse the grains with a gentle swirling of your fingers in the bowl.

basmati rice being rinsed in running water

2. Rinse the rice grains till the water looks clear of any starch.

rinsing the rice grains till the water gets clear of starch

3. Soak the rice grains in ¾ to 1 cup water for 30 minutes. After keeping the kidney beans to cook in the pressure cooker, you can begin with the rinsing and soaking of rice.

soaking rice in enough water for 30 minutes

4. After 30 minutes, drain all the water from the rice and keep aside.

rice drained of all water after 30 minutes

5. For 1 cup of rice, pour 2 cups water (500 ml) in a heavy thick deep bottomed pan. Use the proportion of 1:2 of rice and water depending on the quantity of rice you are using. Also use a wide deep pan so that the water does spill out while cooking. The amount of water to be added depends on the quality and quantity of rice. Sometimes some strains of basmati rice gets cooked quickly in less water. In this case, you can add 1.75 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.

water in a pan or pot

6. Add ¼ teaspoon salt or as per your taste. You can also add ½ tsp oil or butter or ghee. Adding any fat like oil or butter is optional.

salt being added to the water in the pan

7. Let the water come to a boil on a medium to medium-high flame.

boiling water in the pan

8. Add the rice.

adding rice to hot water

9. Gently stir the rice grains with a fork. You can even gently shake the pan, so that the rice grains settle down.

stirring rice grains with a fork

10. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Do check once or twice when the rice is cooking. In case the rice grains look undercooked and the water has dried up, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons hot water. Stir gently with a fork.

pan covered with lid

11. Then lower the flame and cook the rice till all the water has been absorbed and the rice grains have cooked well. Usually, rice takes about 7 to 8 minutes for the rice grains to be tender, soft and fluffy. The cooking time will vary with the type or variety of rice grains, quality of the pan and the intensity of the flame.

rice being cooked

12. After the rice is cooked give a resting time of 5 minutes before you open the lid. Then open the lid and gently fluff the rice with a fork. For a detailed step by step method of making basmati rice you can check this post – How to cook basmati rice in a pot or pan.

rice grains (chawal) cooked and fluffy

13. While serving, spoon the rice in a serving plate. Make a bed of rice. Pour the rajma gravy on top of the rice. Enjoy Rajma chawal. rajma can also be served with roti, paratha, naan or bread.

Punjabi rajma recipe

Tips for making rajma chawal

  1. Make sure that the kidney beans are soaked well or else it will take a lot of time to cook it.
  2. The rajma gravy is not watery but smooth. If you find that the water is too much after the beans are cooked. Then cook the rajma without any lid to evaporate the water.
  3. If while cooking the water reduces, then add some hot water.
  4. The kidney beans have to be soft and well cooked.
  5. Though I have given the measurements for using water, you may have to check the consistency of the gravy as rajma are different in different places. Some kidney beans take a longer time to cook than other varieties. I have faced this issue many times. Some times even in spite of cooking the kidney beans for a good 45 minutes in a pressure cooker, the kidney beans are not cooked to the fullest. Also, use rajma beans which are not old. They more aged they are, the longer they take to cook.
  6. I have used regular kidney beans. You could try it with tinned kidney beans. Though I have never tried anything with tinned beans and would not know how the dish would taste. In using regular kidney beans, the flavors and aroma of the gravy is absorbed by the beans as we are cooking everything together. Not sure if the same would happen for tinned beans.
  7. If you do not have a pressure cooker, use a big pot to cook the beans. But it would take a lot of time to cook the kidney in a pot.

You can serve Rajma gravy With rice, they also equally go well with chapati, roti or bread. But Rajma chawal combo is very famous.

More tasty recipes for you!

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Rajma Chawal

4.78 from 44 votes
Rajma chawal is a comfort food where rajma means kidney beans gravy and chawal means rice. The post shares a simple and easy one pot Punjabi rajma gravy along with the absorption method of cooking basmati rice (chawal).
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:9 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time:45 mins
Total Time:10 hrs
Course:main course
Cuisine:North Indian,Punjabi
Servings (change the number to scale):3
(1 CUP = 250 ML)

Ingredients

for pressure cooking rajma

  • 1 cup rajma (red kidney beans), about 200 grams rajma, soaked overnight in enough water
  • 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking

other ingredients

  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic or 7-8 chopped medium-sized garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger or 1 inch chopped ginger
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped - about 200 grams tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, chopped - about 100 grams onions
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon butter or oil
  • salt as required

for cooking basmati rice (chawal)

  • 1 cup basmati rice (heaped) or 200 grams basmati rice
  • 2  cups water or 500 ml water or add as required depending on the quality of rice
  • ½  teaspoon  oil  (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon  salt or add as per taste

Instructions

preparation

  • Rinse the kidney beans for a couple of times in running water.
  • Then soak the beans in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.
  • The next day or after 8 to 9 hours, drain the soaked water.
  • Rinse the beans again in fresh clean water. Drain them and keep aside.
  • Chop the veggies - onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Keep aside.

making rajma recipe for rajma chawal

  • In a pressure cooker add the kidney beans along with the chopped onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies
  • Now add the spices - cumin seeds, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Pour water. Stir very well.
  • Add butter or oil. Stir again.
  • Cover tightly and pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame.
  • Once the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and check the beans. The kidney beans have to be cooked completely. 
  • Taste a few kidney beans and they should be melt in the mouth without giving you any bite or resistance while eating. 
  • If the beans are still not cooked completely, then add about ½ cup more of water and pressure cook again for 5 to 6 whistles.
  • Once the beans are cooked well, then check the gravy also, you will see a thin water-like stock with the tomatoes and onions floating. 
  • So you have to Continue to simmer till the gravy thickens a bit.
  • Keep the cooker on stove top and on a low to medium flame, simmer without lid. Stir at intervals.
  • When you keep the rajma gravy on the stovetop, then add dry mango powder. Also, add garam masala powder.
  • Stir well and simmer the gravy till the consistency thickens. Mash a few kidney beans with the back of a spoon to thicken the consistency.
  • When the consistency of the gravy is no longer broth-like or water-like and thickened. Then the rajma gravy is ready.
  • If you want you can thicken the gravy more if having with chapati or phulka or roti.
  • Lastly check the taste and add more of salt, garam masala, red chili powder or dry mango powder if required.
  • Garnishing with coriander leaves is optional. Serve rajma gravy with some steamed rice or with chapatis, parathas or bread. You can also serve with cumin rice or garam masala rice or saffron rice.
  • Although you can serve rajma with any medium or short-grain variety of rice but it tastes best with basmati rice.

making chawal or cooking basmati rice

  • Take the amount of rice that you plan to serve. I have taken 1 cup heaped basmati rice (200 grams).
  • Take the rice in a bowl and begin to rinse the rice grains in running water till the water is clear of starch
  • Soak the rice grains in water for 30 minutes. After keeping the kidney beans to cook in the pressure cooker, you can begin with the rinsing and soaking of rice.
  • Later drain all the water from the rice and keep aside
  • For 1 cup of rice, pour 2 cups water (500 ml) in a heavy thick deep bottomed pan. Use the proportion of 1:2 of rice and water depending on the quantity of rice you are using. Also, use a wide deep pan so that the water does spill out while cooking.
  • Note that the amount of water to be added depends on the quality and quantity of rice. Sometimes some strains of basmati rice get cooked quickly in less water. In this case, you can add 1.75 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.
  • Add ¼ teaspoon salt or as per your taste. You can also add ½ tsp oil or butter or ghee. Adding any fat like oil or butter is optional.
  • Let the water come to a boil on a medium to medium-high flame.
  • Then add the rice and gently stir with a fork.
  • Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Do check once or twice when the rice is cooking.
  • In case the rice grains look undercooked and the water has dried up, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons hot water. Stir gently with a fork then lower the flame and cook the rice till all the water has been absorbed and the rice grains have cooked well.
  • Usually, rice takes about 7 to 8 minutes for the rice grains to be tender, soft and fluffy. The cooking time will vary with the type or variety of rice grains, quality of the pan and the intensity of the flame.
  • After the rice is cooked give a resting time of 5 minutes before you open the lid. Then open the lid and gently fluff the rice with a fork. For a detailed step by step method of making basmati rice you can check this post - How to cook basmati rice in a pot or pan.
  • While serving, spoon the rice in a serving plate. Pour the rajma gravy on top of the rice. Enjoy rajma chawal.

Notes

If cooking rajma in a pot or pan:
  • First soak the rajma as usual for 8 to 9 hours.
  • Drain them and rinse them with fresh water.
  • Then in a huge pot, boil enough water first.
  • Add the rajma and salt.
  • Cook covered for about 45 to 1 hour or more if required.
  • It takes a long time to cook rajma without a pressure cooker.
Note that the approx nutrition info is for 1 serving of rajma with steamed basmati rice. 

Nutrition Info (approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Rajma Chawal
Amount Per Serving
Calories 565 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 1095mg48%
Potassium 1261mg36%
Carbohydrates 100g33%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 1357IU27%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 3mg15%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 25mg30%
Vitamin D 1µg7%
Vitamin E 2mg13%
Vitamin K 14µg13%
Calcium 111mg11%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 272µg68%
Iron 6mg33%
Magnesium 123mg31%
Phosphorus 364mg36%
Zinc 3mg20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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183 comments/reviews

  1. Love your recipes. This too was a winner.
    I shared this Rajma with my friends over lunch n they all loved it ????5 stars

    • thank you jisha for sharing your review and experience. glad to know.

  2. Hi Dassana
    Your recipes are excellent and have helped me a lot. You have so many good ideas for new recipes as well. Your traditional recipes are very good too. And how you explain cooking of dishes is brilliant especially with photos. Thank you

    • thank you very much for your lovely feedback. it feels good to know when i get feedback from readers, regarding the explanation, tips and photos of the recipe. thanks again and welcome.

  3. Thanks for this amazing recipe. Do you think it might taste better if I do the tadka with butter and cumin seeds and add it at the end ?

    • welcome. tadka will add more flavors to rajma. so you can definitely make a tadka with butter and cumin seeds.

  4. Hi Dassana
    This recipe of yours is amazing. I’ve tried it with not just rajma but also with chana and it comes out really nice.
    And super easy.
    I had one suggestion to make.. on your website interface it’s not very easy to rate your recipes, I had to really hunt the rate recipe part on the page.
    If you put it at the top of the recipes the rating will be more accessible and easy and users will find your recipes faster!
    Thanks5 stars

    • hi shalmali, thank for sharing your review and suggestion. the same gravy base can be used for any lentil or veggie. glad that you liked the recipe. i will look into the suggestion regarding recipe rating and see if it can be implemented. thanks again.

  5. I have tried this recipe multiple times, every time my family loves the out come. Thank you5 stars

  6. This is my absolute favourite go- to recipe for rajma..
    Thanks a lot.5 stars

    • welcome rashmi and thanks for this feedback and rating on rajma chawal recipe.

  7. Dear Dassana,

    I am normally not a person who writes a lot of comments.
    But in this case I have to!!!
    Thank you very much for this recipe, it is truly amazing.
    As an german with an indian husband I am always looking for authentic home-style recipes.
    Rajma chawal is the absolute favourite dish of my hubby-it reminds him on lazy Delhi sundays, as his mum used to cook Rajma every Sunday for the whole family.
    He loved your recipe an I am more than grateful, that thru your recipe, I have the opportunity to bring him a little bit of his childhood memory back.
    Sometimes a recipe is not just an recipe. Its a feeling. A connection to something.
    Lots of love from Germany,
    Carina5 stars

    • thank you carina. i do agree that a recipe is not just a recipe and it is a feeling and connection. food is connected with many memories and we all have them. i can so relate to you. thanks again and i felt really good reading your comment. wish you all the best.

  8. Five Stars! Hi Dassana, I made this for dinner yesterday and it turned out great. My husband loves this dish. I followed your recipe exactly. What a fabulous and healthy gravy. We had it with toasted wraps but next time I will make basmati rice to go with it. My husband was delighted. He said it reminded him of growing up in Punjab. Thanks you so much for all the Great recipes. I always come back to your website again and again. I only started cooking Indian food five years ago and I learned everything I know from your website!

    • thanks a lot ruby for this lovely feedback. with steamed rice rajma is awesome. rajma chawal is one of our favorite lunch or dinner on weekeends. your husband is right. the taste of this rajma is like the rajma one gets to taste in punjabi homes. its a family recipe and i am glad that i have shared it. thanks again and wish you all the best.

  9. Hello Dassana,
    Your recipes never fail me, have tried so many of them. The pictures in specific help me make sure that I am right on track and flavours are always on point, just like how it is with this recipe. It is just a simple yet delicious way to cook Rajma. I followed this recipe word by word, the only thing I did on my own was that I added kasuri methi while pressure cooking the Rajma. I feel Kasuri methi just elevates the dish.
    Thanks a ton once again for doing such an amazing work through which newbies like me are getting compliments from everyone.

    • welcome nidhi. glad to know that you like the rajma. thanks for sharing your suggestion of kasuri methi. most of the recipes have step by step presentation.

  10. Hi Dassana,

    I want to try out this recipe but i have a smaller pressure cooker than the regular size. How would the measurements of the ingredients change?

    Thanks!5 stars

    • neha, you can easily make this rajma in a 2 to 3 litre pressure cooker. so need to change any ingredients. just that you can add less water like 2 to 2.25 cups.

  11. Hi Dassana…am a big fan of your blog and have tried so many recipes of yours. Everything turned out really great! Thanks a lot. And this rajma gravy was a huge hit in my home. Everybody liked it so much.i added a little more butter so it was more creamy, rich and tasty. Thanks a lot for sharing such wonderful recipes. Keep rocking!..☺5 stars

    • thanks a lot sri devi. great to know that rajma was liked by everyone. the addition of butter and cream can always be less or more depending on one’s requirement. happy cooking.

  12. This turned out to be Ah-mazing! And I have to admit I was very skeptical about making it, always having cooked rajma in the more regular way. Virtual hugs, Dassana. You are a star.

    • thanks a lot prash. nice to know. glad you made the recipe and liked it too ????

  13. Hi. What is the measurement if I wanted to use canned kidney beans? (for example 1 or 2 15 oz cans?)

    • 2 cans (15 oz each).

  14. Hi Dassana,
    Thanks for sharing such a simple yet yummy recipie. I tried this today and it came out really well. I wanted Rajma today for my lunch but since I am a working woman,I normally dont have much time to do eloborate cooking. Came across your recipie which was so quick and simple.Infact,I forgot to add garam masala at the end, but still it came out really well.5 stars

    • thanks vini for this feedback on rajma chawal. in fact its one of my go to recipes on busy days. even without garam masala, this rajma tastes good. thanks again.

  15. Rajma Cooke 18to 20 whistle….I don’t understand

    • depends on the quality of rajma. if the rajma is fresh it takes less time to cook.

  16. Finally found a recipe for rajma that tastes just like the one on my visits to India… Thank you! I also added 2 tbsp cream at the end… Yum.

    • thanks maffinley 🙂

  17. never had such tasty rajma before.. thank u so much for the awesome recipe !! turned out really delicious..u deserve 5 outta 5 !!!4 stars

    • welcome mandira. thanks for this motivating feedback on rajma recipe.

  18. Hi dear
    I tried your recipe n turned out really nice.

    Thanks,
    Nargis4 stars

    • welcome always nargis, glad you liked the rajma recipe. thank you for positive views.

  19. Turned-out delicious ?!

    • thanks for the review sunil.