This authentic rajma recipe is the perfect Punjabi comfort food. It's easy to make, stores well, and is delicious.
Main Courses,  Vegetarian


Rajma is the perfect Punjabi comfort food. This traditional vegetarian dish is great any time of year. It’s easy to make, stores well, and is delicious.

Rajma is perfect for lunch or dinner. It’s family friendly and incredibly easy to make. It’s comfort food at its best. There are some recipes that you just learn watching, week after week, year after year. This is definitely one of those recipes. It’s the same recipe that we’ve been making in my family for 4 generations. It’s as authentic as any authentic Punjabi recipe can be.

I try not to describe or appropriate Punjabi food to foreign equivalents but rajma really is akin to chili. In that it’s hearty, rich, and so flavorful. Of course, it is vegetarian and uses totally different spices, so it’s still not a chili. But it is a warm cozy dish that is hard to mess up. Whether you’re going to do an instapot version, pressure cooker, slow cooker, or a stove top recipe (like this one) it turns out perfectly. The only only thing I would caution is following a recipe that’s stop top and tells you they can be done in 30 minutes. They can’t be. This is a chili-like stew, and just like you can’t make a decent chili in 30 minutes, you can’t make rajma in 30 minutes. So stick it on the stove, catch up on a show, a workout, maybe a well needed canoodle, while the dish works itself to perfection.

Whether you’re pairing rajma with rice, raita, and salad, or roti and sabji. It’s hearty and satiating.


Course: MainCuisine: Punjabi, Indian, PakistaniDifficulty: Easy


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  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds

  • 2 tbsp cumin

  • 3 onions, chopped

  • 3 tbsp ginger, minced

  • 2 chili peppers, minced

  • 2 Indian bay leaves

  • 2 dried red chili peppers

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds, powdered

  • 5 tomatoes, chopped

  • 4 – 16 ounce cans of dark red kidney beans

  • 8 cups water

  • Salt, to taste

  • Black pepper, to taste

  • Cilantro, for garnish


  • In a large pot heat up vegetable oil on medium heat.
  • Add black mustard seeds and saute till they crackle.
  • Add cumin seeds and saute till they are a deep brown.
  • Add onions and saute till translucent. Approximately 10 minutes.
  • Add ginger and chili peppers. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in bay leaves, dried chili peppers, and turmeric. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in coriander powder and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and saute till the masala has homogenized. Approximately 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
  • Add in kidney beans and water and bring to a boil.
  • Cook till the beans until have reached desired consistency. This should be a thick chili like stew. Approximately 60-90 minutes.

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