Slow Cooker Indian Kidney Beans (Rajma)

They say every pregnancy is a little different, and so far, that couldn’t be more true for me. At 13 weeks, I feel miserable. But since that has become the new norm for me, I will adapt. Accommodate. Make things work!

One major difference this time around is my appetite.  I had nausea throughout my entire pregnancy with Little Bear, but this time around, there are waves of nausea, followed by complete, savage, hunger.  Which has meant having a stocked fridge…when I need food, I need it fast!

So while this recipe may not be fast, it’s hands-off, which means I can be using my hands in better ways, like eating, making other meals, or shoving everyone aside as I make a mad dash to the washroom.

rajma title

After having Little Bear, I became a fan of slow cooker meals. Typically, the slow cooker gets pulled out on Sunday, our meal prep day. We usually spend the bulk of our Sunday grocery shopping, cooking, baking, and prepping meals for the week. The first meal to be started is usually a soup or stew of some sort, thrown into the slow cooker to be forgotten about until the day is done. This works the best for us, as we personally don’t like leaving the house with any appliance on, and if I’m at home with the slow cooker going and I’m not occupied, I’ll probably ruin the whole thing by opening the lid every half hour (a major no-no, so don’t be tempted! Trust in the slow cooker!).

This meal is very satisfying, hearty, and goes well with rice, flatbread, or even just eaten on its own. Rajma, or kidney beans, are a common North Indian dish made at home – I doubt you’ll find this on your local take-out menu.  By making it in the slow cooker, you’re ensuring a nice soft, creamy rajma, with no fat and lots of flavour. This recipe also freezes really well, so before you scale it down, pull out a freezer bag and store away half for a busy day!

rajma close up

Slow Cooker Indian Kidney Beans (Rajma)
Time: 6 hours


2 cups of dried red kidney beans (rajma) – See Note
6 cups of water
2 cups potatoes, roughly chopped
3-4 stalks celery, cut in halves
3 bay leaves
1 inch piece of ginger (either whole, chopped, or shredded)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red pepper (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp. dried fenugreek leaves (methi), crushed in your palms
Cilantro, for garnish

Note: It is important to ensure that your slow cooker is reaching a hot enough temperature to fully cook your kidney beans. Improperly cooked kidney beans can cause extreme digestive distress. I have never had issues with my slow cooker cooking beans fully, as for the last few hours my kidney beans are boiling away, but to ensure your kidney beans will be fully cooked, please boil your dried kidney beans for 10 minutes on the stove before adding them to the slow cooker.


1. Put everything in a slow cooker except roma tomatoes, tomato paste, fenugreek leaves, and cilantro. Turn to high, stir, and cover. Do not open for 4 hours.

2. After 4 hours, open the crock pot,stir, and remove the celery.  (If you do not remove the celery, you will end up with celery strings throughout your rajma.  Not fun.)

3. Check the kidney beans for doneness. If you are happy with your beans, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and dried fenugreek leaves. If you would like the beans to cook more, cover and wait to add the rest of your ingredients.

4. Let cook 1-2 hours more. Eat immediately or let cool and freeze. Serve with a garnish of cilantro.

2 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Indian Kidney Beans (Rajma)

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