Punjabi-Style Red Bean Stew “Rajma” Recipe

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Recipes.net Team Published: August 19, 2021

Rajma, also known as red bean stew is a thick tomato curry-like dish that originated in North India. This household staple dish is vegetarian-friendly and comprised of red kidney beans with a hint of light and fragrant spices. There are other ways of cooking the famed Rajma but the most popular one among them is the Punjabi-Style Rajma recipe! Serve this with some quick-pickled onions for a play of flavor!


Punjabi-Style Red Bean Stew “Rajma” Recipe

Punjabi-Style Red Bean Stew “Rajma”

A vegetarian-friendly red bean stew with thick tomato curry-like consistency and light and fragrant spices comes in this easy rajma recipe!

Prep: 10 mins
Pickle: 1 hr
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins


For Quick Pickled Onions:

  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ cup white vinegar, distilled
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 oz red onions, sliced thinly

For Rajma:

  • 15 oz red kidney beans, (2 cans), drained
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 3 oz red onions, quartered
  • 1 green finger chile, trimmed
  • 1 ginger, (1 inch piece), peeled, sliced thinly
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup cilantro, fresh, leaves and stems, roughly chopped, divided
  • cup water, as needed, up to ⅔ cup
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • cooking spray

To Serve:

  • 1 cup steamed rice, or flatbreads, per serving


Pickled Onions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except for the onions, in a saucepot and bring to a boil.

  2. Reduce to a simmer and continue simmering for 10 minutes, or until both salt and sugar has dissolved.

  3. Once the pickle solution has been reduced, add the sliced onions, cover, and set aside. Allow the onions to pickle for at least an hour.


  1. Combine onions, chile, garlic, and ginger in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth, drizzling with water as needed, until it forms a smooth paste. Set aside.

  2. Grease a deep skillet or Dutch oven with cooking spray. Add the spice paste and saute for roughly 6 to 8 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and vegetables have briefly caramelized.

  3. Add cumin, chili powder, and garam masala. Roast briefly.

  4. Add beans and tomato sauce and simmer for roughly 20 minutes until the sauce has been reduced by half.

  5. Once the stew has reduced, add cream and half of your cilantro. Stir to combine.

  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and adjust accordingly. Before serving the stew, drain the onions and discard the pickling solution.

  7. Portion your Rajma accordingly. Garnish with the pickled onions and the remaining cilantro. Serve with flatbreads or steamed rice.


  • Calcium: 86mg
  • Calories: 272kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Cholesterol: 33mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Iron: 5mg
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 3g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
  • Potassium: 1091mg
  • Protein: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Sodium: 2443mg
  • Sugar: 13g
  • Vitamin A: 1318IU
  • Vitamin C: 18mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
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