Kashmiri Rajma: A Delectable And Comforting Bowl
Image Credit: Image: Shutterstock

The rajma is an all-time favourite of North Indians. It is cooked differently in different states. The Punjabi style Rajma is called Chitra rajma. In the whole of Jammu Kashmir, the smaller-sized, redder Bhadarwah variety is used. With the divine whole Kashmiri spices, the fragrance is elevated and the gravy base is also supremely blended.

One can enjoy this with rice or rotis. The Kashmiri rajma is also eaten with buns. 

The origins of Rajma are found in Central America. The beans were portable, had longer shelf life, and were a great source of proteins. Thus, when the Spaniards and Portuguese discovered them among the native tribes of Mexico and Guatemala, they started carrying them with them over long voyages. That is why kidney beans are also called sailor’s favourite.

Although it is quite nutritious, it was incorporated into a balanced diet. The kidney beans were often eaten with corn and wheat. They get their name because of their anatomical resemblance to kidneys- the human organ which filters the food. That is why it was used in traditional medicine to cure kidney or bladder-related ailments. 

In India, it is often eaten with gravy. The more well blended the beans are with its ingredients, the better rajma becomes.

Here’s the recipe for Kashmiri Rajma.


For boiling rajma:

2 cups rajma

2 bay leaves 

2 black cardamoms 

½ tsp hing 

1 tsp fenugreek seeds 

4 cloves 

Salt, to taste

For rajma masala: 

⅓ cup mustard oil or ghee 

2 tsps shahi jeera 

Onion paste (coarse) 

1 cup ginger paste (coarse) 

1 tbsp garlic paste (coarse) 

2 cups tomato purée (fresh) 

Salt, to taste

1 cup curd 

1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder 

½ tsp turmeric 

Saunf powder 

1 tsp dry ginger powder (optional)

1 tbsp dhania powder 

2 tbsps ghee 


  • Wash and soak rajma preferably overnight.
  • Now, add 3 cups of water to it and put them in a pressure cooker.
  • Add hing, black cardamom, cloves, bayleaf, methi dana, and salt in the pressure cooker.
  • Cook until the rajma is soft.
  • Remove and keep them aside.
  • For the rajma masala, heat a wok and add mustard oil and shahi jeera.
  • Once it crackles, add onion, ginger, and garlic paste together.
  • Cook this until the onions turn brown.
  • Then, add the tomato puree and cook until it leaves the oil.
  • Mix together curd, chilli powder, turmeric, saunf powder, and coriander powder.
  • Then, add the curd.
  • Cook on high heat until the curd reduces and masala becomes thick.
  • Just add the rajma and cook it for 5-7 mins.
  • Now, add the water from the boiled rajma and adjust the seasoning and consistency.
  • In the end, pour the ghee tadka over the rajma and serve.