Rajma (Kidney Bean Stew)

Serves 8-10


  • 680g Dried Kidney Beans
  • 2 Large Onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic
  • 4 inch piece of Ginger
  • 1 Green Chilli 
  • 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 dessertspoons Tomato Puree
  • 3.5 tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2.5 tsp Ground Coriander Powder
  • 50g Fresh Coriander (Cilantro), finely chopped
  • 100ml Double Cream (optional) 


  • Soak the dried kidney beans overnight, in a large pan in 2 litres of water and cover.
  • The following day, drain in a colander and rinse the kidney beans thoroughly under cold water for several minutes.
  • The kidney beans can either be cooked in a pressure cooker, as per the manufacturers instructions, or boiled in a pan.
  • I put the beans into my pressure cooker with double the quantity of water and place the lid on. Once the pressure is reached, I reduce the heat to a moderate setting and cook for 20 minutes. After this time I remove from the heat and once the pressure is released remove the pan lid. The kidney beans are now tender and have split  slightly. 
  • If you don't have a pressure cooker, the kidney beans must be boiled in plenty of water for around 60-90 minutes, until the beans are soft, tender and slightly split. (You may need to top up the water regularly whilst boiling the beans).
  • Grind the garlic, ginger and chilli together to a paste.
  • Fry the chopped onions in the sunflower oil and add the garlic, ginger, chilli paste.
  • Cook this onion mixture on a moderate heat until the onions are golden brown.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato puree into the onion mixture and cook slowly for about 40 minutes until the tomato mixture has turned a dark red and the oil starts to emerge around the edge of the pan.
  • Add the salt, garam masala and ground coriander powder.
  • Add the tomato mixture to the cooked kidney beans and add about half a litre of boiled water to loosen the curry.
  • Cook on a low heat for about 1 hour, or until the gravy has thickened. You may need to add more boiled water if needed.
  • You will end up with a thick stew and mix in the chopped coriander and double cream before serving.
  • Serve the rajma with basmati rice or hot roti.


  • If you are using a pressure cooker, it is imperative to follow manufacturers instructions.
  • If you are considering investing in a pressure cooker, I recommend buying a stainless steel one, as opposed to an aluminium one.
  • The rajma recipe can be halved if you do not want to make a large pot of it, or alternatively it is suitable to freeze in freezer friendly containers.