Rajma Masala – Red Kidney Bean Curry/Chili with Oregano Flatbread 

This is such a tangy and creamy curry/ chili, prepared in south Indian style. Our curries are always accompanied with a very flavorful flatbreads. This flatbread is seasoned with oregano (Omam) which makes it so aromatic.

Our Indian pantry is always stocked with all sorts of beans. We vegetarians make good use of them since it’s a great source of protein. We make so many things like cutlets, curries, stir fries and more. This is a quick and easy recipe, It makes a great week night meal in minutes.

Rajma Masala South Indian Style

The curry looks so enticing, right ? Let’s see how to make it


  • Red kidney beans – 1 can / cup ( cooked)
  • Onion – 1 (diced )
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil and butter for sautéing
  • Chopped coriander/ cilantro leaves for garnish

Ingredients for the curry paste 

  • Sliced or grated coconut – 1 tablespoon (unsweetened)
  • Tomatoes – 2 (chopped)
  • Cloves – 4
  • Black Pepper corns – 4
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Chili powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger – 1/2 inch piece (diced)
  • Garlic clove – 1 (diced)
  • Salt – 1 1/2 teaspoons

This recipe serves a family of 4 

Let’s make the paste first…

  1. Heat oil and butter in a pan.
  2. Add the cloves and pepper and let it toast
  3. Add the sliced coconut and toast it until it gets a light golden brown color.
  4. Now add the chopped tomatoes and sauté it until it gets mushy.
  5. Now add all the spices – turmeric, chili, cumin, coriander, Garam masala powders and mix it well.
  6. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and sauté it for sometime.
  7. Add salt and mix it well.
  8. Transfer the mix to a bowl to cool then grind it into a smooth paste and keep it aside, Do not add water.

Notes : 

  • It is very common in South Indian cuisine to add coconut as a thickener.
  • If you don’t want coconut, just use a tablespoon of the cooked red beans, toast it and follow the same procedure. It serves as a thickener too. 

The right way to cook the red beans…

  • Wash and soak the red beans for a couple of hours
  • Cooking it in lots of water is very important otherwise they stick together and become mushy
  • Drain it and keep it aside.


  • My humble advice, do not add salt. Beans take longer time to cook if you add salt while it cooks.
  • It has the ability to absorb the salt while it simmers in the sauce, so don’t worry about it being bland.
  • Let the beans have a little bite to it, don’t over cook and make it mushy.

If you are using canned red beans, drain the liquid, wash and keep it ready. 

Let’s make the curry now…

  1. In a clean pan, heat some oil and butter.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and let it toast nicely
  3. Add the finely chopped onions and sauté it until it gets nice and golden brown.
  4.  It is key in getting the rich taste.
  5. Now add the cooked beans and sauté it for a minute.
  6. Add the curry paste and 2 cups of hot water and mix it well.
  7. Keep it in a medium flame, cover it with a lid and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. Your nose will tell you exactly when the curry is ready. 
  9. The wonderful aroma of the spices literally fills your kitchen.
  10. Garnish it with coriander / cilantro leaves


  • Adding the right amount water is key in getting the right consistency and flavor.
  • If you add too much water in the beginning itself, it takes longer time for the curry to thicken.
  • If the spices boil for a long time it loses its aroma
  • If your curry has become too thick, always add hot water and let it simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • Never add cold water to your curry, it completely changes the taste. 

Red Kidney Bean Curry – Rajma Masala 

Look at the creamy, flavorful and tangy curry. I wish you could smell it now, so aromatic !

Now let’s see how to make the paratha …

I recommend you to make the dough before you start making your curry.

  • We always make the dough ahead and let it rest for at least couple of hours.
  • Resting the dough tenderizes it and yields very soft flat breads.
  • And the added flavorings get a chance to meld nicely too.

Ingredients for the paratha/ flatbread 

  • Wheat/ All purpose flour/ atta – 2 cups
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Chili powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Omam seeds (or) oregano leaves – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 2 teaspoons.
  • Oil to coat

This recipe yields 8 flatbreads 

  1. Put all the above ingredients in a bowl
  2. Add both the soaked oregano seeds and the water it was soaking in, mix it well with your hands. 
  3. * If you are using Oregano leaves you can add it as it is, no need for soaking. 
  4. Add water slowly and knead it into a thick dough.
  5. Make it into a ball, coat it with some oil.
  6. Cover it and let it rest in a warm place in your kitchen for some time.

Notes : 

  • We use oregano seeds, they are very aromatic but it has to be soaked in a tablespoon of water for sometime and then only we add it to the flour mix.
  • Soaking it releases it’s full flavor, and the seeds won’t be crunchy when you make the paratha.
  • I added both the seeds and the leaves but it’s optional.

 Omam/Ajwain                 Dried Oregano                                                             

When I take food pics, sometimes the outcome really amazes me…check out the dough, it looks like it’s levitating, right? 😀< a href=”https://savvysouthindian.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/img_7480.jpg”&gt;Roll out the dough, heat the griddle nice and hot

  1. Toast the paratha/ flatbread nicely on both sides
  2. Brush it with a little bit of oil or butter, it gives this beautiful golden color.

What can I say , my kitchen smells like a pizza shop:) smells so good! The aroma of oregano is intoxicating!

Now the hot parathas are ready to serve with our curry…

You can have the curry as it is like a bowl of chilli but I personally like to dunk a piece of this paratha into this creamy curry. Oh wow! What a hearty and satisfying meal.

You can also serve this curry with rice. Both the curry and the flatbread keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days, Doesn’t this make your life easy!

After a long day of work, imagine coming home to treat yourself with this tasty combo. Just the thought of it makes me extremely happy. There you go! A quick and easy week night meal. Enjoy!!




Published by Latha All rights reserved<<<<<<


18 Comments Add yours

  1. InspiresN says:

    love the way you describe the recipe and the notes are really interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Daniel says:

    Amazing, this is one of my recent favourites! Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this recipes already without even cooking it. Thank you for that great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! It’s a delight going through your site, delicious recipes with beautiful pictures and awesome crafts too! Thank you for stopping by, Really appreciate it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is mutual. Can’t wait to read more from you. Let’s keep in touch. Enjoy your day. Greetings form Vienna

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Eartha says:

    Latha, I’m going to be trying one of your recipes very soon! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Eartha! I’m so glad you like them.😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. PriyaPandian says:

    Lovely recipe and great presentation ☺️👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Priya! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Superb ….Well explained and well presented….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Than you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Andrew Marco says:

    most definitely! If you ever do join, let us know! Would love to add you in 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. elliebleu says:

    This looks amazing! I love the bowls you used for the presentation. I’ve never heard of the tip of not using cold water with curry. Good to know.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Andrew Marco says:

    love that you’re so detailed with your recipe, this looks SO GOOD! Thanks for the share, I feel like I need to try it out soon 🙂

    I was wondering if you were on FB at all? It would be amazing if you could share your recipe in our group, would love for you to join our community of food lovers! Check us out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OnlyGoodEats/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! I’m not on FB yet, I’ll join soon 😊


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