Rajma Quinoa (Indian-style kidney beans)

rajma quinoa

rajma quinoa

Hello there! I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend! My apologies for the blog silence lately – I had actually wanted to post this recipe last week, but felt that it might not be very relevant to post an Indian food dish in the days leading up to the Fourth of July. Everyone else seemed to be posting traditional American recipes and fun red, white, and blue foods, and I’d be like, “Hey! Have some…rajma.” So here we are. July 7th. That’s as good a day as any for Indian food, right? Right. 

Rajma chawal is a popular and ubiquitous Indian dish consisting of kidney beans and rice, as common and beloved in India as macaroni and cheese is in North America, according to Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij, a pair of renowned chefs, restaurateurs, and cookbook authors. A vegetarian meal, rajma is full of iron and protein thanks to the kidney beans, and even more so when served over quinoa – although it can’t actually be called rajma chawal when served over quinoa, since chawal means “rice.”

rajma quinoa

When I was younger and my dad took an interest in Indian cuisine, rajma was one of the few dishes I was completely on board with, since I’ve always had a fondness for kidney beans. In my view, rajma is a good introduction to Indian food for those who aren’t familiar with the cuisine – it’s essentially a spiced vegetarian chili! It’s also a good introduction for those who are just starting to cook Indian food at home, since it’s quite straightforward and doesn’t take much time to make. Enjoy!

rajma quinoa

Rajma Quinoa

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 35-40 minutes
  • Print
Adapted from Vij’s At Home: Relax, Honey

Ingredients 

2 cups uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced (any kind)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups water
3 14-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Instructions

1. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package. This will most likely call for 2 parts water and 1 part quinoa.

2. Heat the oil in a saucepan (3-quart capacity or larger) on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the onion and sauté for about 8 minutes, until softened and semi-translucent (you do not need to stir the onions much, so I suggest measuring out and mixing together all of the spices in a small bowl while the onions are cooking). Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add the tomatoes and all of the spices, stirring to combine. Cook for 5 minutes.

4. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, add the kidney beans and return to a boil, then cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.

5. Serve rajma over quinoa and garnish with chopped cilantro.

rajma quinoa

26 Comments on Rajma Quinoa (Indian-style kidney beans)

  1. Baby June
    July 7, 2014 at 10:51 am (1 year ago)

    Those look delicious! Love all the flavors and spices. :)

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm (12 months ago)

      Thanks! The spices really are the star of the “show” :)

      Reply
  2. Ngan R.
    July 7, 2014 at 11:21 am (1 year ago)

    What a delicious looking bowl of hearty food!

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm (12 months ago)

      Thank you! Hearty is a great word to describe this dish.

      Reply
  3. Lu @ SuperNummy
    July 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm (1 year ago)

    That’s so funny, I actually made chana masala on July 4, then had the same thought as you!

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm (12 months ago)

      Haha yes, great minds think alike! Looking forward to seeing your recipe :)

      Reply
  4. Cake Lover
    July 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm (1 year ago)

    Rajma Quinoa – what a great idea! I haven’t had rajma for a very long time, and I am on a quinoa kick, so this is a perfect dinner idea. Thanks!

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 7, 2014 at 4:04 pm (12 months ago)

      You’re very welcome! I hadn’t had rajma in a while either, which is strange since it’s so tasty and easy to make.

      Reply
  5. apron
    July 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm (12 months ago)

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. I love how you added the tomatoes to make it so colorful! Looks like a healthy, delicious and quick dinner!

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 7, 2014 at 4:06 pm (12 months ago)

      Thanks! I was surprised at how quick and easy it was to make, since I often think of Indian food as very involved. I’m glad you like the tomatoes – I picked the mini heirlooms so as to punctuate the color homogeneity :)

      Reply
  6. foxeslovelemons
    July 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm (12 months ago)

    I think any day is a great day for lovely food like this. I love that it’s total comfort food, but made summery and fresh by those juicy tomatoes!

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 7, 2014 at 10:52 pm (12 months ago)

      Thanks, me too! And I think that’s a great food philosophy :)

      Reply
  7. cheri
    July 7, 2014 at 11:38 pm (12 months ago)

    Love the spices in this dish, great combination!

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm (12 months ago)

      Thanks! I hope you get a chance to try it!

      Reply
  8. milkandbun
    July 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm (12 months ago)

    It’s full of spices and flavors! Yummy! 😉

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm (12 months ago)

      Definitely! Thanks for stopping by :)

      Reply
    • CakePants
      July 9, 2014 at 8:49 pm (12 months ago)

      Glad to hear you’re on board with Indian food anytime (me too – I just didn’t know if others would feel the same!)! Thanks for stopping by :)

      Reply
  9. HomeSweetJones (@HomeSweetJones)
    July 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm (12 months ago)

    You must have read my mind because I’ve been craving Indian food lately. I can’t believe I’ve never tried Rajma but I will fix that soon with this delicious recipe. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 9, 2014 at 10:12 pm (12 months ago)

      Awesome – I hope you try it! Let me know how it turns out :)

      Reply
  10. Ami@NaiveCookCooks
    July 10, 2014 at 3:18 pm (12 months ago)

    I am loving this dish. Such a genius idea!! I love rajma. How come I never thought of combining it with quinoa?!! Great job girl!!

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 10, 2014 at 3:37 pm (12 months ago)

      Thanks so much! I was a bit slow on the uptake of the quinoa trend, but I’m making up for lost time now – I hope you get a chance to try it together with rajma!

      Reply
  11. Sugar and Cinnamon
    July 10, 2014 at 7:12 pm (12 months ago)

    This looks like such a good recipe! I always want to use quinoa but then worry the flavours won’t match. This looks like the best combo ever though so definitely saving this recipe!

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm (12 months ago)

      Thanks! I hope you get a chance to try it :)

      Reply
  12. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs
    July 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm (12 months ago)

    I’m loving this! I’ve bookmarked this recipe..excited to give it a try very soon! It’s just a great summer salad, with amazing flavors!! <3

    Reply
    • CakePants
      July 10, 2014 at 10:30 pm (12 months ago)

      Thanks!! I’m glad it caught your eye – let me know how it goes if you try it :)

      Reply

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