Punjabi Style Rajma Spiced Saucy Kidney Beans

by Zarina
Punjabi Style Rajma Spiced Saucy Kidney Beans

Comfort food at its best… rajma chawal… probably close to being the national dish of India it’s so loved by all!  A dish prepared from boiled or pressure-cooked kidney beans with creamy, rich, onion, tomato-based gravy.  One of those one-dish-wonders that make you want to get comfy on the sofa… you need nothing else… just a big bowl full of saucy, steaming hot rajma with basmati rice. 

This is my Punjabi Mamas’ way of cooking rajma. She uses red kidney beans and adds cocoa beans which give a thickness and consistency to the dish.  

Punjabi Style Rajma Spiced Saucy Kidney Beans

Punjabi Style Rajma Spiced Saucy Kidney Beans

Serves: 8 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 500g Red kidney beans
  • 100g Cocoa beans
  • Fine sea salt
  • Cooking oil
  • 3 Onions medium size chopped fine
  • Water
  • 1½ tsps Garlic crushed
  • 1½ tsps Ginger finely chopped
  • 1½ tsps Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Tumeric
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • ½ tsp Chilli powder
  • ½ tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tomato large chopped small
  • 250ml Passata
  • 1 tsp Fennel ground
  • Large handful fresh coriander chopped
  • 4 Green chillis chopped fine


  1. Soak red kidney beans and cocoa beans in a huge pot of water overnight for at least 8 hours
  2. When ready to start cooking, rinse beans in water and drain
  3. Add the beans into your pressure cooker or instant pot with about 2” of water above the top of the beans, add 1.5 tsp salt
  4. Pressure cook or cook in the instant pot for 30 minutes with natural release
  5. While beans are cooking, heat oil in a saucepan on medium heat, add cumin seeds and onions, careful not to let them burn, cook for a few minutes
  6. Add 200ml water, so the onions don’t stick to the pan too much, give it a good stir, cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to low
  7. Keep checking on the onions every few minutes if they are sticking, then add another splash of water
  8. Once the onions are golden but not too browned, add the ginger and garlic, cook a couple of minutes, then add 1 tsp salt, turmeric, ground coriander, cumin, chilli powder, and sugar
  9. Continue to cook another 5 minutes, add tomatoes and passata, cook for another 5 minutes
  10. Add another splash of water, about 50ml, cover with a lid and turn heat to a simmer
  11. Keep cooking for a further 20 minutes and stir occasionally 
  12. Add ground fennel to the  masala, switch off the  heat, and set aside
  13. Once kidney beans are cooked, add the masala to the beans and simmer for another 20 minutes
  14. Add another 2 tsp salt or less according to your taste
  15. Add fresh coriander and fresh green chillis
  16. Serve hot with basmati rice
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