Rajma Dal: Red Kidney Bean Curry
Rajma Dal: Red Kidney Bean Curry

Rajma dal is a red kidney bean curry that is a popular dish in northern India, though it's enjoyed throughout the country. It is a tasty vegetarian recipe that cooks the beans in a spicy masala paste featuring ginger, garlic, chilies, and tomatoes.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green chilies, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, cored and chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 cups red kidney beans (2 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pinch asafoetida powder (also known as asafetida or hing)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish

How to Make it:-

In a deep pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. When they stop sizzling, add the onions and fry until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 2 minutes.

Add the green chilies, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, garam masala, and turmeric, and fry until the oil separates from the masala, about 10 minutes.

Add the red kidney beans, warm water, and asafetida, as well as the salt to taste. Cook until the beans are soft and the sauce has reduced a bit, to your desired consistency, about 25 minutes.

Mash some of the beans roughly to thicken the sauce.

Garnish with coriander and serve hot with rice.


For an even better curry, cook kidney beans from dried instead of using canned beans. Soak the dried beans in water overnight and drain. Add the soaked beans to a pot, covering with about an inch of water. Bring to a low simmer and check after about an hour, adding more water as needed. The beans are done when they are tender.

For less intense heat, seed the chili peppers before chopping.

Serve with your choice of store-bought or homemadre pickles.

Leftover rajma dal can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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