Weeknight Rajma

Weeknight Rajma, spiced kidney beans in tomato onion masala. All the traditional taste, in half the time. Think of this as a vegetarian Indian chili! 

Rajma, one of my all time favorite comfort foods! The perfect combination: Rajma + Chawal, such a simple yet popular meal in most North Indian households. When I was younger, I remember my Dad and I would tell my mom to make us Rajma almost every week. 

weeknight rajma

What is Weeknight Rajma?

Now you all know I already have a Kashmiri Rajma Recipe on the blog which I adore, as do many of you. After many requests for a quicker version I’m bringing you this everyday weeknight Rajma recipe for when you don’t have time to soak your beans, or use a pressure cooker! This red kidney bean dish in a savory/spicy tomato and onion curry gives you all the “just like moms” taste but in half the time. Serve it with hot basmati rice and  pickled onions and it’s the ultimate comfort food. 

weeknight rajma

Notes about Weeknight Rajma ingredients:

  • When selecting canned kidney beans look for the dark red ones, low sodium if possible! You can always add more salt while cooking.
  • Cilantro stems give the onion and garlic mixture a beautiful floral earthiness, cooked down they taste similar to green onions. 
  • Make this recipe vegan by substituting the yogurt and butter with vegan alternatives. 

weeknight rajma

This recipe was recently featured in Buzzfeed! I hope you love it as much as we do!

Weeknight Rajma
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Weeknight Rajma, spiced kidney beans in tomato onion masala. All the traditional taste, in half the time.
Serves: 4
  • 2 can 15.5oz Dark Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 cup red onion; 1 medium size onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro; stalk and leaves
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes; 3 plum tomato
  • 2 tablespoon whole milk yogurt
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro; stalk and leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 chopped green chili (serrano or birds eye)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt / adjust to taste
  • 1½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or butter
  • Chopped Cilantro
  1. Prep your ingredients but chopping the onions, green chili, ginger, garlic and cilantro together.
  2. Puree the tomatoes.
  3. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat and add the cumin seeds and cinnamon stick.
  4. Once they start to sputter add the onions, green chili, ginger, garlic and chopped cilantro. Once the onions turn translucent, cook for 10 minutes before adding the crushed tomatoes.
  5. As the tomatoes start to release their waters add in the red chili powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt, cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add in the beans, along with their liquids and the water, mix well.
  7. In a bowl with the yogurt, temper it by added a few spoons of the hot rajma. Mix it well so it tempers and add the yogurt paste to the kidney beans.
  8. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil for 5-10 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust of needed. Add the garam masala and ghee or butter and set heat on low and stir in between until the gravy thickens to the desired consistency, about 5-7 minutes. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
  9. Serve hot with basmati rice (chawal) and pickled onions.


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