Rajma (or Indian Spiced Vegetarian Chili)

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on October 25, 2010

I found this recipe for “Rajma” on FoodNetwork.com a while back, and decided to try it out this past weekend. For those of you new to Indian food, Rajma is basically a North Indian vegetarian dish consisting of red kidney beans in a thick curry with lots of Indian whole spices – it’s usually served with rice or naan. When made without tons of oil/butter/cream, Rajma is actually a super healthy one pot meal – think of it as vegetarian chili with lots of yummy Indian spices! This recipe is especially healthy because in addition to the kidney beans (which have tons of fiber, protein and are low in calories), there are tons of veggies to round out the meal as well. The recipe with my notes are below – it only took about an hour to make and that’s including cutting all the veggies, heating the naan and waiting for the curry to simmer and cook through!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (Note – I only used 1 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and it was enough. Save the extra 120 calories and only use 1 Tbsp!)
  • 1 cup minced onions (I used a red onion, and probably used more than a cup – I just used 1 small red onion and cut the whole thing)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I actually used 4 cloves for more taste/flavor)
  • 4 firm, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (Roma tomatoes work great here. Note: Make sure you use all the seeds and pulp from inside the tomato, it makes a great base for the curry!)
  • teaspoons minced gingerroot, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I ended up using closer to 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional) (I would highly recommend adding this in – gives the curry a nice kick without being too spicy!)
  • 2 cups drained kidney beans (19-ounce can)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, add the oil, onions and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, tomatoes, gingerroot, cumin seeds, Garam Masala, lemon pepper, and dried red pepper flakes, if desired, and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more. (Note – I ended up cooking it for 10 min) Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro (and then I let it heat through for 1-2 min)

Pictures!


{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy October 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I love the addition of Garam Masala to this chili! I bet it was delicious!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater November 1, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Thanks Amy! You’re right – the Garam Masala gives this recipe just that little extra something to make it super yummy 🙂

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turkey's for life October 25, 2010 at 10:10 pm

That looks like a meal that would really sort you out over the cold, wet winter winter months. Good comfort eating!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater November 1, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Absolutely! I’m sure you will love this recipe!

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suchitra October 26, 2010 at 7:13 am

good one- I often make rajma and love it!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater November 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Thanks Suchitra! I’m sure you’ll love this version of Rajma too!

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Squeaky Gourmet October 26, 2010 at 11:43 am

Oh perfect–I am making my own version of this tonight for dinner–thank you for the inspiration!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater November 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Yayy! I can’t wait to hear how you like this recipe!

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Rasika October 27, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Thanks for adding your comments. Very helpful.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater November 1, 2010 at 10:45 pm

No problem! So glad it’s helpful Rasika!

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Jeanette November 17, 2010 at 4:53 am

This sounds really flavorful and healthy. I will have to give it a try.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater November 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Thanks so much! I’m sure you will love this recipe Jeanette!

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Corinne January 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm

how many servings is this recipe?

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Hi Corinne! This recipe makes 4 servings, and each serving has: 175 calories, 4.3g fat, 28g carbs, 10g fiber, 1g sugar, and 8g protein. Hope that helps!

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Corinne January 18, 2013 at 10:25 am

thank you making this tonight for a house party this weekend 🙂

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 18, 2013 at 10:52 am

Oh awesome!! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

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Shabnam October 14, 2013 at 7:13 am

I will make it next weekend. it sounds great.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 15, 2013 at 1:13 am

Perfect! Let me know how it goes!

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Sonali May 26, 2014 at 3:40 am

Rajma is one of my all-time favourite meals, and one of the biggest reminders of life back in India. I love that this recipe includes pepper, one of my five a day 😉

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater May 26, 2014 at 6:26 am

Rajma is one of my favorites too! So glad you liked this recipe!

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Jack October 28, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Can I add a teaspoon of chili powder to sorta “Americanize” it? It’s got all the good ingredients of a good American style chili – except it is missing the chili powder. Would the chili powder ruin it?

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 29, 2014 at 6:17 am

Hi Jack! I think 1 tsp of chili powder would probably work fine in this recipe. It doesn’t hurt to try it! Let me know how it turns out!

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