Rajma chaawal: A protein-rich classic

This article is authored by Bonny Shah. Bonny is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

Rajma or red kidney beans are native to Central America and Mexico. It has come a long way from its western origins, to become a staple in Indian cuisine. Rajma chawal or rajma curry with boiled rice is one of the simplest and yet most popular dishes made with this protein rich pulse, and it’s well loved by people across the country.

So what is it that makes the humble rajma chawal so enticing? It could be the rich earthy flavours that come from the spice mix or that fully satisfied feeling that comes from having a plateful of rice with the protein rich beans. Perhaps, it is simply the fact that for most of us, rajma chawal feels like home.

Classic Rajma Chawal Recipe

  • Soak a cupful of rajma beans overnight for that melt in your mouth texture. Rinse the soaked rajma beans in a colander under running water.
  • Drain and pressure cook the rajma with 4 cups of water for about 20 minutes. Finely chop one large onion and 2 large tomatoes.
  • Prepare a paste of 6 cloves of garlic, a 1 inch piece of ginger and 2 green chillies.
  • In a bit of oil and butter, add ½ tsp jeera and allow it to crackle. Add in the onion and saute until golden brown
  • Add the chilli-ginger-garlic paste and saute for a few seconds until the raw smell subsides.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and saute until they soften.
  • Add ¼ tsp haldi, ½ tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp dhania powder, ½ tsp garam masala and a pinch of hing.
  • Saute the mixture well until the fat starts to separate from it. Strain the rajma beans, add them to the pan and saute for about a minute.
  • Next, add in 2 cups of the rajma broth with some salt, as required.
  • Stir the mixture well and allow it to simmer, stirring intermittently till the curry thickens. Mash some beans using a spoon to thicken the gravy.
  • Add 1 tsp kasuri methi powder and 3 tbsp fresh cream.
  • Add 1 tsp kasuri methi powder and 3 tbsp fresh cream.
  • Stir and simmer for a minute.
  • Ladle onto boiled rice and voila, your rajma chawal is ready!

Rajma Nutrition - A Protein Rich Pulse

How to Make Rajma Chawla

The red kidney bean is not just delicious, it’s incredibly healthy too. It has a protein content of 22.7%, making it a good option for vegetarians & vegans, and for those who are looking to reduce the consumption of red meat. It is a good source of carbs and has a carbohydrate composition of 57.7%. With a mineral composition of 3.5%, it is an excellent source of important nutrients such as iron, calcium, manganese, potassium and copper. It is also rich in B group vitamins such as vitamin B1 and folate. Rajma has a low fat content and is a rich source of roughage with an 18.8% dietary fibre content. Out of this, 40% is soluble fibre and the 60% is insoluble fibre. Rajma contains flavonoids and phenolic acids which act as antioxidants, protecting cells from the harmful effects of free radicals, and playing a part in preventing degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. (1)

When you’re stocking your pantry, be sure to choose only the best ingredients for your family. Try Tata Sampann Rajma, it is unpolished so you get the natural goodness that this protein rich pulse has to offer. Happy eating!


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