Simple, home style dishes like Rajmah or Red Kidney Beans mostly in the north Indian tradition of cooking, a style of cooking making a comeback. People are indeed more interested in simple home flavors, just like I am interested in simple, sustainable Indian flavors. Lentils and legumes are such a core part of this equation.

Rajmah – Indian Red Beans [Vegan]

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Cooking Time



  • 2 cups of cooked red kidney beans (I pressure cook them for 25 minutes)
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
  • Salt to taste (please take care to balance this with the amount of salt that the beans have been cooked in)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Take about 1/2 the beans and grind to a puree with about 1/2 cup water and set this aside.
  2. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds and cook till fragrant and aromatic.
  3. Add in the onion and cook on medium heat stirring occasionally until the onion in soft and begining to turn golden (about 3-4 minutes).
  4. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Mix in the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add in the whole beans, chili powder, powdered cumin the bean puree with about 1 and a 1/2 cups of water.
  7. Simmer on low heat till for about 25-30 minutes till thick, creamy and smooth.
  8. Squeeze in the lemon juice.
  9. Remove from the heat and garnish with garam masala and cilantro prior to serving.


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