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Rajma Sambar

Vanitha Bhat
540 minutes
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
4 People
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Traditional Indian favorite sambar made using red kidney beans or rajma instead!!

Recipe Tags

  • Veg
  • Easy
  • Karnataka
  • Pressure Cook
  • Boiling
  • Side Dishes
  • Healthy

Ingredients Serving: 4

  1. 1 cup red kidney beans (rajma)
  2. 1 small lemon-sized tamarind soaked in ½ cup water or 1 tsp tamarind paste
  3. 2 teaspoons sambhar powder
  4. Salt to taste
  5. For tempering:
  6. 2 tsp ghee/clarified butter or coconut oil
  7. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  8. ¼ tsp hing/asafetida
  9. Few curry leaves
  10. Finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing


  1. Soak kidney beans/rajma in plenty of water overnight. Next day, drain, add 3 cups of water and cook either in a pressure cooker or saucepan until well cooked and soft.
  2. Squeeze the soaked tamarind (if using the fresh tamarind) and extract juice. Keep the pulp aside; you can add more water again to this to make additional tamarind extract if needed later.
  3. To this, add 2 tsp of sambar powder and mix to form a slurry.
  4. Once the beans are cooked, transfer to a saucepan along with the cooking water and bring to a boil.
  5. Add salt to taste and the tamarind-sambar powder slurry. If using tamarind paste, add at this stage along with sambar powder (mixed in some water to form a homogenous mixture or it will form lumps). Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat.
  6. Adjust taste, salt and sourness according to personal preference. Meanwhile, prepare the tempering or seasoning: Heat oil/ghee in a small saucepan and once the oil/ghee is hot, add mustard seeds.
  7. After the mustard seeds have started to splutter and crackle, add hing and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds.
  8. Add this tempering to the simmering kidney beans sambar; garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves/cilantro; give it a good mix and remove from heat.
  9. Serve piping hot kidney bean or rajma sambar with rice, a vegetable stir fry and maybe a salad on the side for a complete vegan (if you omit the ghee and use only coconut or any other cooking oil) and healthy vegetarian Indian meal!!

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