I lost my grandmother this past week. She was quite a woman. Raised three amazing sons and made everyone she ever met feel so special and important. She spoiled me. You see, I am the only girl in a few generations from my fathers side. If you ever had the chance to visit/know her, rest assured you would leave her house with a bellyful of food and a heart full of love. She was known for her cooking skills – something I believe I’ve inherited from her. But sadly, I never had a chance to learn from her. Her dosas, dahi vadas, halwa, they were signature “Dadi”! She even made the best mutton curry while being vegetarian – go figure! That was her. Nothing ever came in her way. She was unstoppable and I miss her so much. 😢

While Rajma Chawal is not something someone would necessarily connect with my grandmother, it is one that holds a very special memory for me. I wasn’t a fan of red beans as a child and she would patiently feed me propping one bean on a spoonful of rice, calling them boats! And I was hooked. This has been my go-to comfort food ever since! Think of it as a hug from within. It is comfort food at its very best.

Low in fat and rich in complex carbohydrates, minerals, proteins and vitamins, kidney beans nutrition has been linked to reduced risk of various of cancers, heart disease and diabetes. Thanks to their fiber and abundance of nutrients, kidney beans also help with your waistline. You can read more about the health benefits of kidney beans here.

So this ones for you Dadi. I hope I can be half the woman you were. 🙏

  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 whole red chilies (optional)
  • 2 large onions, chopped fine
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder (optional, as per taste)
  • 5 tsp Himalayan Salt (or as per taste)
  • 2 cups red kidney beans, soaked overnight or 2 hours in hot water
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 cups basmati rice, washed and drained
  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add red chilies, if using, and stir for a few seconds.
  3. Add onions and fry till golden brown.
  4. In the meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions.
  5. Next add the ginger garlic paste and stir for a few seconds until the raw smell dissipates.
  6. Add tomatoes, chili powder and salt and give the mix a good stir.
  7. Stirring occasionally, allow the mixture to cook until tomatoes are pulpy and the oil begins to separate (approx 5 minutes).
  8. Drain and add the beans and the water and stir well.
  9. Close cooker and bring to full pressure on high heat.
  10. Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes.
  11. Remove cooker from heat and allow to cool naturally.
  12. Open cooker and partially mash beans with the back of a ladle till gravy is a little creamy.
  13. Stir in garam masala.
  14. Serve hot with basmati rice.

Note: easy to freeze!