Red Kidney Bean Curry (Rajmah)


Oh, the love I have for this Rajmah from Smitten Kitchen runs deep. Replicating good indian food at home is hard to do, but this wonderful, umami packed recipe will make you look like a seasoned professional chef. This Rajmah is just so so good. Try it, you will love it.

Serves 6


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger (I use half this; I’m tepid in the fresh ginger department)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large green chili, chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 8 ounce can of tomato sauce or 8 ounces of one of your choice
  • 3 cups boiled red kidney beans or 30 ounces canned red kidney beans, undrained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley, if you’re cilantro-averse)


Heat oil in a deep sauce pan over medium heat for one minute. Add ginger, garlic, onion, green chili, and let sizzle for one minute. Add the tomato sauce, salt and remaining spices and cook for an additional five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the kidney beans with water or canned red kidney beans (undrained) plus one additional cup of water, and tomatoes. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and let cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro.

Serve over rice or with naan.

Recipe and photo courtesy of


4 thoughts on “Red Kidney Bean Curry (Rajmah)

  1. I love this Rajmah. It’s a great basic sauce. I sub tofu, or chicken for the red beans. Tonight at dinner I made an awesome discovery. I had cooked this Rajmah with some tofu and also made breaded eggplant. When the two were next to each other on the plate I ended up getting a bit of eggplant with the Rajmah sauce on it. Out of this world! Now, that’s a new meal. I’m just going to cook the Rajmah and not add anything, then use it as a dip for the breaded eggplant. I think this is a new potluck dish too.

    • Good idea about the eggplant. Eggplant tends to just melt right in to dishes like these. Yum and yum, I will have to try that. If you haven’t yet, check out the Barbecue Lentil recipe with eggplant. It’s awesome. Also, great suggestion about substitutions for the beans!

  2. Can you recommend a good BBQ sauce for the BBQ Lentil recipe? I’ve wanted to make it but was concerned that I’d pick a bad sauce and ruin the whole thing. I don’t use BBQ sauce so I’m not familiar. I tend to like what you like so I think whatever you recommend will be delish!

  3. I like Stubb’s. You can find it in most places and I’m pretty sure they carry it at Rouses’s. Stubb’s can be pricey though and you don’t need anything fancy for this recipe. I would choose one that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup and call it a day. I find the fewer chemically sounding ingredients, the better and deeper the flavor. I am exclusively using Trader Joe’s brand now that I live less than 5 minutes from one but I have used other generic brands in this recipe with great success. Report back and let me know what you think of this recipe!

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