Rajmah (Punjabi Curried Red Kidney Bean) (Slow-Cooker)

Total Time
11hrs 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 11 hrs

This recipe is by Anupy Singla, whose cookbook, "The Indian Slow Cooker", is a publishing sensation. She says slow cookers are particularly suitable for Indian cooking, reminiscent of clay cookers that would have been used for village cooking. This recipe is a traditional and classic North Indian dish that you would find in every home, but not in restaurants. Comfort food for Punjabis, this is the dish her family requests the most.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Safety note: This is not part of the recipe, but it is information that has recently been highlighted in various places. Dry beans, especially dry red kidney beans, contain a toxin called Phytohaemagglutinin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Soaking and boiling dry beans helps remove this toxin to make beans safe to eat -- in a slow cooker, the temperature never gets hot enough to heat up dry beans sufficiently [source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration]. They recommend that you first soak them for a minimum of 12 hours, rinse them, and then boil them for 10 minutes. Singla has said that the long cooking here has the same effect, but if you have any concerns, please use these instructions, and expect the beans to finish cooking more quickly. Use less water if you start with soaked beans.
  2. Put all ingredients except the cilantro and the rice into a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Cook on High for 11 hours, until the beans break down and the whole is somewhat creamy. (Several people have mentioned that it seems watery, so you might want to try less water - definitely less water if beans were pre-soaked).
  3. If you can find them, remove the cloves and the cinnamon stick. If the beans are not as creamy as you want them, stick your immersion blender in there and whir a bit. (Or remove about one cup of the beans and process in blender or food processor). Most of the beans should remain whole.
  4. Stir in cilantro and serve over rice.
  5. Optional: Stir in 1 cup yogurt, cover and let sit for 10 minutes, for a tangy twist.
  6. Use a 3 1/2 quart slow cooker if making half the quantity.


Most Helpful

Very tasty recipe! I boiled the kidney beans for 10 minutes, rinsed them very well, and then added them to my slow cooker with 9 cups of water. Next time, I would only add 8 cups of water. Additionally, I found it a little too salty, so I would reduce the salt by 1/2 tbsp. Thanks!

Merle C. May 05, 2015

I'm making this tonight! I',m a new proclaimed vegetarian so flavorful dishes are so suitable for my taste preference! It's smells so strong in the house, part of me thinks I overdid the spices but I just followed the instructions. I decided to soak the beans they grew much larger in size.. way more than three cups .. but I 'm probably gonna cook it for 6 hours.. or just give it the whole time.. we'll see. I added only 5 cups.. I really didn't want it to turn watery! adn probably will blend one cup of it as well! Can't wait to savor this.. Would love to master Indian cooking. Love all the flavors! Namaste, friends!

Natalia P. March 06, 2014

This dish was easy to make. After soaking the beans overnight and chopping the remaining ingredients, I liked that I only had to dump everything in the slow cooker in the morning and then go about my day (I did not boil the beans). I used 4 Serrano peppers and would probably use 5 or 6 next time. I cooked on high for over 11 hours. Like other reviewers mentioned, it was way too watery even after 11 hours of cooking and looked more like soup. We had to use the immersion blender to get it to a consistency that resembled another reviewers picture. The flavor was nice and I did enjoy the yogurt stirred into my individual serving. We served over basmati rice. Made for Rookie Tag Spring 2013.

Dr. Jenny March 29, 2013

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a