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This rich, creamy kidney bean curry, packed with layers of flavor from oil-bloomed spices and sauteed onion, can be enjoyed over rice with roti or naan for scooping. Add a dollop of tomato achaar or roasted garlic achaar for a little heat and acidity, and the yogurt for creamy coolness. Finish with a small handful of chopped onions and fresh cilantro for a final pop of flavor. If you don't have amchoor powder, you can try a bit of tamarind concentrate or a squeeze of lemon juice instead.


Credit: Photo by Rachel Vanni / Food Styling by Judy Haubert

Recipe Summary

25 mins
45 mins


Ingredient Checklist
For Serving


Instructions Checklist
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, and asafetida and fry, stirring often, until the spices sizzle, about 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and turmeric. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Add the garlic, ginger, and chiles. Stir until fragrant, 30 to 40 seconds. Mix in the coriander, garam masala, and chile powder. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they break down and start to separate from the oil, about 15 minutes.

  • If desired, you can puree the sauce at this point. Remove the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf, and puree in a blender, adding water by the tablespoonful if needed to help move the sauce in the blender. Pour the sauce back into the pan. Stir the kidney beans into the sauce, adding some water if the mixture is too thick (if you cooked them in a pressure cooker, you can use the cooking water).

  • Simmer the curry until the kidney beans are heated through and the liquid thickens a bit, about 5 minutes. You can also add some water to to thin, if you prefer.  Stir in the amchoor powder and add the jaggery, if using. Season to taste with salt.

  • Serve over rice or with roti or naan, with yogurt for cooling, and achaar for heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced onion.