Rajma Sundal

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Rajma sundal is a South Indian dish made with kidney beans, coconut, spices and herbs. Sundal is basically a dry legume and lentil preparation and tastes delicious. Rajma sundal can be served as a side dish with a vegetarian meal or can be eaten as is. If you like kidney beans, then surely give this recipe a try.

rajma sundal served in a bowl

This recipe of rajma sundal is a unique variant made with kidney beans (also known as rajma in Hindi). To make this dish first the whole spices are sautéed and later the cooked kidney beans are mixed in. Lastly fresh coconut is added to the mix. Rajma sundal is also a vegan dish.

Sundals are prepared during Janmashtami puja or Ganesh Chaturthi or Navratri fasting in South India. If you love sundals then you can prepare them for any occasion. They make a quick and guilt-free snack or brunch. They can also be had as a side dish with roti or even with curd-rice or just plain sambar or rasam and rice.

Sundals are a hit at home. So when the family tasted the Green Peas Sundal and the Channa Sundal, they asked me to make rajma sundal. Why rajma? – because rajma or kidney beans are our favorite beans. I took a long time to share this rajma sundal, although it was on my mind.

Usually with kidney beans we make recipe like Dal Makhani or Rajma Recipe or Madra.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Rajma Sundal

1. Rinse 1 cup kidney beans (rajma) couple of times in fresh water. You also have the option to use canned kidney beans if short of time. Usually I always prefer to soak the dried beans and then use them.

If using canned kidney beans, then jump ahead to step 7.

rinsing rajma in fresh water

2. Then drain the water and soak the kidney beans overnight or for 8 to 9 hours in enough water in a bowl.

soaking rajma in water

3. Next day drain the water and rinse the rajma beans with fresh water a few times.

rinsing rajma in water

4. In a 3 litre stovetop pressure cooker, add the soaked kidney beans. Also, add 1 teaspoon salt and 4 cups water.

You can also cook the beans in an Instant pot adding water as required. I won’t suggest to boil them in a pan on the stovetop as they take a lot of time to cook.

rajma added to pressure cooker

5. Pressure cook the rajma for 15 to 20 minutes on high heat or till they are completely cooked, softened and tender.

Open the lid when the pressure falls naturally in the cooker. Check the cooked beans and there should not be any bite in them.

Take care as the beans will be very hot. You can either mash them with a spoon or do a taste test.

cooked rajma

6. Then drain the water and keep the cooked rajma aside.

cooked rajma with water drained from them

7. Measure all the ingredients for making the recipe and set them aside.

ingredients for rajma sundal in bowls

Making rajma sundal

8. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoon sesame oil in a pan or kadai. This sesame oil is also called as gingelly oil and is made with raw sesame seeds. Instead you can also use sunflower oil or peanut oil.

heat oil in kadai

9. Keep the heat to a low. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon split and hulled black gram (urad dal).

mustard seeds and urad dal added

10. The mustard seeds will crackle and the urad dal will get browned. Stir often.

crackling the mustard seeds

11. They almost take the same time to cook on a low heat.

crackling mustard seeds on low heat

12. Once the urad dal gets golden then add 12 to 15 curry leaves, 2 dry red chilies (broken and seeds removed) and 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing).

curry leaves and red chilies added

13. Fry for few seconds stirring often till the red chillies change color and curry leaves look crisp.

frying curry leaves and red chilies

14. Then add the cooked kidney beans.

cooked rajma added

15. Stir and mix well.

mix rajma with sundal mixture

16. Add salt as required.

salted added to rajma sundal

17. Stir gently and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on a low to medium heat.

saute rajma sundal for 3 to 4 minutes

18. Switch off the heat and then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh grated coconut. You can also use frozen grated coconut. Thaw the coconut before adding.

fresh coconut added to rajma sundal

19. Mix well again.

mix coconut with sundal

20. Serve rajma sundal as prashad or naivedyam. You can also serve it as a side dish with any vegetarian South Indian meal.

rajma sundal served in a bowl

Few more sundal recipes for you!

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rajma sundal recipe, red kidney beans sundal recipe

Rajma Sundal

Rajma sundal is a South Indian recipe of a no onion no garlic sautéed kidney beans with spices and coconut.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Soaking Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 35 mins
Cuisine South Indian
Course Snacks
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

For pressure cooking

  • 1 cup kidney beans (rajma)
  • enough water – for soaking rajma overnight
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups water – for pressure cooking rajma

Other ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sesame oil or sunflower oil or peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal (split and hulled black gram)
  • 12 to 15 curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chilies (broken and seeds removed)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • salt as required
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh grated coconut or frozen grated coconut

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Rinse and soak the kidney beans overnight or for 8 to 9 hours in enough water.
  • Next day drain the water and rinse the beans a few times with fresh water. 
  • In a 3 litre stovetop pressure cooker, add the soaked beans. Also add 1 teaspoon salt and 4 cups water. Pressure cook on high heat for 15 to 20 minutes or till the beans are softened and tender.
  • Let the pressure fall on its own in the cooker and then only open the lid.
  • Check the beans and they should be completely cooked.
  • Then drain the water and keep the cooked kidney beans aside.

Making rajma sundal

  • Heat 1 to 2 tablespoon sesame oil in a pan or kadai. Keep the heat to a low.
  • Add mustard seeds and split hulled black gram (urad dal).
  • The mustard seeds will crackle and the urad dal will get browned. Stir often.
  • They almost take the same time to cook on a low heat.
  • Once the urad dal gets golden then add curry leaves, dry red chilies (broken and seeds removed) and asafoetida (hing).
  • Fry for few seconds till the curry leaves become crisp and the red chillies change color.
  • Now add the cooked kidney beans. Season with salt according to taste.
  • Stir and mix gently. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on a low to medium heat.
  • Switch off the heat and add the fresh grated coconut. Mix well again.
  • Serve the rajma sundal as prashad or naivedyam. Or serve with a South Indian vegetarian main course or as a side dish.

Notes

  • Use kidney beans which are in their shelf period. Do not use aged beans as they will take a lot of time to cook. 
  • Remember to soak the kidney beans overnight. Feel free to use canned kidney beans instead if short of time.
  • The kidney beans can be pressure cooked in the Instant pot also. Add water as required while cooking in the instant pot.
  • Instead of dry red chillies, you can add green chillies. You can also swap the chillies with a bit of crushed black pepper.
  • If you do not have fresh coconut, then swap it with frozen coconut. Thaw the frozen coconut before adding to the dish. 
  • This recipe can be doubled.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Rajma Sundal
Amount Per Serving
Calories 214 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 754mg33%
Potassium 706mg20%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 328IU7%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 36mg180%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 94mg114%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 6µg6%
Calcium 65mg7%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 540µg135%
Iron 4mg22%
Magnesium 75mg19%
Phosphorus 205mg21%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Rajma Sundal post from the blog archives first published in August 2013 has been republished and updated on 19 January 2022.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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2 Comments

  1. So simple and quick and easy to make. Why does it taste so completely wonderful and complex? I could eat this every day. Today I substituted whole moong dal or green gram. A little more digestible according to my Ayurvedic Doctor and equally yummy. Thank you so much for this recipe!!!!! My husband loves it, too.

    1. thank a lot sharon. moong dal can be easily substituted. even white chickpeas or chana dal (bengal gram). in fact even cooked peanuts can be made into a sundal recipe. the boiled peanuts taste very good 🙂