No-soak Rajma (Red kidney beans)

OKAY, there’s this ritual at my home – my mom cooks our favorite dishes on our birthday. This time on my sister’s birthday, her demand was Rajma Chawal!! However she decided this on the day of her birthday. Since Rajma must be soaked overnight or at least for 8 to 9 hours, cooking it was not possible. But, this alternate method came to the rescue, thanks to my sister’s Punjabi friend’s mommy!!

Whether a Punjabi or not, Rajma Chawal is a hit with every family.  The magic about Rajma Chawal is the complex character of red kidney beans tempered with loads of spices and then plated together with the simplicity of rice.

Though Rajma Chawal is a very simple dish, it is not only tasty but also full of proteins. Rajma is rich in iron & protein, and when it is combined with rice, it is a great source of carbohydrates. This dish generally lists as a top favourite of north Indians.


You have always heard this from your mom… You can’t cook this directly; you need to soak it overnight!! Have you ever forgotten to soak Rajma overnight and felt helpless? Soaking it in hot water doesn’t give you the desired result… Here, I introduce you to one way of cooking kidney beans for which you do not need to soak it at all and it will turn out amazing! No more of excuses -This Rajma goes really well with plain rice and jeera rice as well! Try this Rajma recipe for the Punjabi bhukkad in you!!!


100 grams red kidney beans (rajma)

1.5 glass ice-cold water

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

3 medium tomatoes

1 big onion

2 cloves (laung)

1 green cardamom

1 cinnamon stick

2 curry leaves (kadi patta)

2 tsp. salt (or as per taste)

2 tsp. Ginger-garlic- green chilli-coriander paste

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. black mustard seeds

2 tsp. red chilli powder

2 tsp. coriander powder

Coriander sprigs for garnish

Butter (optional)



In a pressure cooker, boil half glass water (room temperature) with the red kidney beans and 1 tsp. salt on high heat. After it starts boiling vigorously, add ice cold water and cover the cooker with the lid. After 10-12 whistles, turn the heat off.  Keep it aside and let the lid open with natural release.

In a pan, heat vegetable oil and add mustard and cumin seeds, curry leaves, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick. When these start to splutter add purée of one tomato (we need the other two later) and onion.

Turn the heat to medium and let the mixture simmer and release the oil. Once the oil is released, add ginger-garlic-green chilli-coriander paste (for the paste – take all the four in equal quantities and make a grind them).

Let it cook for 5 minutes and add puree of the remaining two tomatoes. Now, add in the red chilli powder, coriander powder and 1 tsp salt (or as per taste). After cooking this for another 5 minutes add the kidney beans along with the water in which it was boiled to it.

After 5 minutes, turn the heat off and garnish with coriander sprig (you may add extra dollop of butter). Serve hot with rice and papad.



2 thoughts on “No-soak Rajma (Red kidney beans)

  1. The caption of no-soak absolutely caught me as I always forget to soak them if I need to cook rajma and then end up making some other dish 🙂 first time here to ur blog 🙂 great going !! Will try this n let u know how we liked it ..



    1. Hi kalyani, same is the case with me! By the time i decide onto a dish, its too late. But this recipe is a life saver. Trust me, you won’t soak rajma ever again! And yes please let me know how it turns out! 😇


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