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Rajma Poriyal (Kidney Beans With Curry Leaves)

Rajma Poriyal (Kidney Beans With Curry Leaves) 2.000

Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post; styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dec 21, 2021

Rajma poriyal is a popular variation of a classic regional Indian dish made with beans, curry leaves and grated coconut. It is important to follow the recipe instructions as written, because layering the spices and ingredients enhances the flavor, says food writer Nandita Godbole, who developed this recipe. This flavor-packed, protein-rich side dish is typically served as a complement to an array of other dishes. It can, however, be doubled or tripled as an entree. Serve it with paratha, or your favorite flatbread, or with rice and plain Greek yogurt.

Watch a video of Godbole making Rajma Poriyal here.

Total time: 25 mins

Storage Notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator and gently reheat on the stovetop

Where to Buy: Fresh or frozen curry leaves, frozen unsweetened grated coconut, black mustard seeds and asafetida can be found at Indian or Asian markets, or online.

2 - 3

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2-3 servings; makes 1 cup

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or another neutral oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 10 to 12 fresh curry leaves (may substitute with frozen. See NOTES)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated or minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) cooked kidney beans (if canned, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Fine salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh coconut (see NOTES)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook until the oil is fragrant and the mustard seeds have popped, about 2 minutes. Add the curry leaves and grated ginger and cook, stirring, until the oil is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Decrease the heat to low and stir in the cayenne, turmeric, cumin, coriander and asafetida until combined. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the beans, and stir well to coat with the spices.

Decrease the heat to low, cover and cook until the beans are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar and season to taste with salt.

Just before serving, stir in the coconut and the cilantro, if using.


Do not use the coconut typically used for baking. Grated fresh coconut is available in Indian or Asian markets in the freezer section. Defrost before using. If grated unsweetened frozen coconut is not available, a splash of canned coconut milk is acceptable, but it will temper and mellow the flavors of the finished dish. Adjust the spices accordingly.

Fresh curry leaves provide brighter, fresher flavor than frozen.

Recipe Source

From cookbook author Nandita Godbole of

Tested by Alexis Sargent.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (1/3 cup) based on 3: 176

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 11g 17%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 101mg 4%

Total Carbohydrates: 15g 5%

Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%

Sugar: 1g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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