Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry) Tacos

This creamy, richly spiced vegetarian kidney bean curry is usually served over rice with roti or naan, but it also makes a surprisingly delicious filling for corn tortillas. You can assemble the tacos before serving them, or make a giant taco platter with the rajma, toasted tortillas, and all of the toppings and let your guests build their own to their own liking. 

Rajma Tacos
Photo: Photo by Rachel Vanni / Food Styling by Judy Haubert
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 1 tablespoon mild-flavored vegetable oil such as sunflower, or ghee

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 2 green cardamom pods

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Pinch of asafetida

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

  • 2 small green chiles, minced, or to taste

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala

  • ¼ teaspoon Indian red chile powder or cayenne (optional)

  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes or 3-4 chopped plum tomatoes

  • 2 - 3 cups cooked kidney beans (from two 15-ounce) cans, or 1 cup dried beans, cooked in a pressure cooker

  • 1 - 2 teaspoons amchoor powder (green mango powder), optional

  • 1 teaspoon jaggery or brown sugar, optional

  • Salt, to taste

For Serving

  • 18 small corn tortillas

  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced

  • Sour cream or yogurt

  • Feta, crumbled

  • Chopped fresh cilantro

  • Chopped onion

  • Hot sauce


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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 thin, if you prefer. Stir in the amchoor powder and add the jaggery, if using. Season to taste with salt.

  5. Assemble the tacos: Heat the tortillas over an open gas flame on the stovetop, or place on a baking sheet and toast in a 350°F oven until warm and slightly browned, turning once, 5 to 10 minutes. Form each taco with the rajma (about 3 tablespoons per taco), avocado, feta, onion, cilantro and hot sauce, and serve.

Related Articles