Punjabi Rajma, Adapted (Indian Kidney Bean Stew)
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor
  • For the beans:
  • 1 lb dried kidney type beans (I used Rancho Gordo's Black Valentine beans)
  • water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • For the stew:
  • 1 t dark mustard seeds
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 4-5 T vegetable oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 large red onions, chopped
  • 3-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T paprika (or something hotter, like cayenne, if you prefer)
  • 1½ T ground coriander
  • ½ t turmeric
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 3 small-medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 large or 6 medium tomatoes, chopped (I used peeled frozen)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 t garam masala, to taste
  • 1 t amchur powder
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • juice of ½ lemon, to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (I left out because I did not have but it would be good)
  1. Start the beans earlier in the day (or better yet, start soaking the night before). Place them in a pot and cover them with cold water by 2 inches. Add the onion, garlic and oil. Bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Stir in the turmeric. Then cover to maintain a very gentle simmer. Check the pot periodically to make sure the beans are still well covered by water--add more if necessary. When the beans are tender, add 1 teaspoon of salt. After 10 minutes, taste for more salt. Then turn off the heat and leave the beans covered until needed.
  2. Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil and the mustard seeds--cover the pot and listen for popping. When the popping slows down, sprinkle the cumin seeds in with the bay leaves. Cook until fragrant, about 20-30 seconds (cumin seeds burn easily, so watch the pot). Add the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of water if they start to scorch, until they are caramelized a dark golden brown. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for one minute, stirring. Then add the paprika, coriander, turmeric and cumin. Stir to incorporate and roast, for about 30 seconds. Then add the zucchini and bell pepper with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and stir to to mix in.
  3. Let the tomatoes simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Then add the beans with all of their cooking liquid to the pot. Mix and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste--start with ½ teaspoon, and let gently simmer, covered, until you are ready to serve (it can cook this way for an hour 2, at most the beans will just get super soft and you may need to add a splash of water or 2 to keep the dish stew-like).
  4. Mix in the brown sugar, amchur powder, garam masala and lemon juice. Taste for additional salt, lemon juice or garam masala. Serve with flatbread or over rice, garnished with cilantro and plain Greek yogurt.
Recipe by The Spiced Life at https://www.thespicedlife.com/punjabi-rajma-adapted-indian-kidney-bean-stew/