Rajma is a dish I discovered after identifying my nightshade sensitivity, so I can’t say anything about its true—and inevitably diverse—place within the vast culinary landscape of India. I simply loved the idea of kidney beans simmering in a spicy tomato sauce, but until I cooked my way towards Beetuto I just didn’t have the right tomato substitute. Because it’s tasty and simple I now make it regularly. It’s particularly good with rice and Coriander Chutney, but a simple side dollop of Greek yogurt also fills it out perfectly.


  • oil for sauté
  • 1 medium red onion, preferably red, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon methi
  • 2 cups Beetuto
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur or sumac
  • 1 tablespoon Bright
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 can red kidney beans


1To a medium sauce pan with moderate heat add the oil and cumin seeds. Wait a few minutes, and as the cumin begins to sizzle add the onions. (If you’re using red onions, and don’t often use these for cooking, they’ll develop a slightly pinkish hue as the onions cook.) About two thirds of the way to translucence, add the ginger and garlic and cook for another several minutes.

2Add all of the spices (except for the methi and amchur/sumac powder) and keep stirring for a couple of minutes as the spices coat the onions and activate in the heat.

3Add the beetuto. Bring to a simmer and add the amchur and methi.

4Add the kidney beans and return to a simmer. Wait a few minutes for any salt in the beans to inform the sauce, then adjust salt to your liking and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes. Depending on how much liquid was in your Beetuto and beans is you may need to add some extra liquid or simmer some off.

5Serve with rice or roti and Coriander Chutney or plain yogurt. Garnish with cilantro. A splash of cream or coconut milk may be used if you’re looking for a creamier dish.



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