Rajma Dal

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Rajma Dal

  • Author: OBGadmin
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


Most people think that Indian food uses mainly chickpeas and a ton of lentil varieties, but this Northern Indian dal uses red kidney beans simmered with tomato, onion and spices. Its quite hot, due to the Kashmiri red chili powder and tastes even better the next day. This is my quick, weeknight version using canned red kidney beans with a couple of shortcuts in method but no shortcuts in flavour.


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp ghee (use canola oil to make it vegan)
  • *1 tbsp grated ginger
  • *2 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp hot Indian chili powder (usually labelled Kashmiri red chili)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 540 ml can red kidney beans, including the liquid they come in.
  • 1.5 cups of canned, chopped tomato or fresh chopped tomato
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: a tbsp or 2 of melted ghee can be drizzled on the dish right before serving
  • Yogurt, red onion and cilantro to serve


Heat ghee in a deep pan and sauté the onions until they take on a golden colour. Add in the ginger and garlic, stir and cook for about a minute before adding the tomato paste. Sauté for another minute and then add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala. Stir until well combined.
I dump the beans in with their soaking liquid along with the tomato. Give it a good stir, turn the heat down, check for salt levels and add if needed and let this simmer for about 20 minutes.
You can serve it with naan, paratha, or rice, as they do in Northern India. I like to drizzle it with yogurt, scatter some thinly sliced red onion (you can pickle it in lime juice for a few minutes, too) and lots of cilantro.


*You can also use jarred garlic/ginger paste found in the Indian food aisle instead.