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Monday, 9 September 2019

Rajma Sundal / Kidney Beans Salad

Rajma Sundal is a protein-rich, healthy and delicious Salad made using red kidney beans. Basically, Sundal is a South Indian stir-fry made with different legumes and serves as a Naivedhyam during Navratri Festival. This Rajma Sundal is a Sattvic dish, which means it is a vegetarian onion-garlic free dish that can be offered to the deity. Here, soaked and boiled kidney beans are sauteed with basic whole spices in very little oil and lastly topped with grated fresh coconut. I have added veggies to this Rajma Sundal to make it all the more nutritious and wholesome. This vegan and gluten-free dish can be served as a healthy mid-day snack or as a side dish or salad to the main meals. If you have boiled kidney beans ready at hand making this Sundal is a breeze.

With the ongoing festive season, it is very difficult to stay away from sweet treats but one can certainly maintain a balance by including legumes and such wholesome salads in our daily diet. Consuming salads on daily basis is one of the healthiest eating habits. Salads are not only the best ways to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in our diet but also have enormous health benefits. Let's have a look at some of the reasons to eat salads. Source
  • Salads are high in dietary fibers and a great source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Raw green vegetables in salads help in lowering the cholesterol levels.
  • Being rich in fiber, salads act as appetite suppressants and help you feel full for a longer time, thus aid in weight loss.
  • A green salad is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants.
  • Frequent salad intake reduces the risk of heart troubles and blood pressure.
  • Raw vegetable salads improve immunity and help to decrease constipation.

When Narmadha who blogs at Namscorner suggested #SaladStories as the #212th theme for #FoodieMondayBlogHop, the first thing which popped into my mind was a healthy wholesome sundal recipe which is apt for the upcoming Navratri festival as well. Narmadha wanted us to make a salad which could be had as a meal by itself or could serve as a side dish to main meals. Raitas were excluded from the dishes that could be made under this category of salads. Narmadha loves cooking and she started her blog to keep a record of her cooking experiments. I love her bakes and kids recipes. Do check out her space for some delicious recipes.


This Rajma Sundal recipe is also featured in the Facebook group Food For Feast. I am a part of this group and us members of this group post once every month on the predecided theme. For the month of September, #SattvicRecipes is the theme. For the uninitiated, Sattvic diet is a diet based on foods in ayurvedic and yogic literature that contain the quality (guna) sattva. Sattvic diet includes food and eating habits that are "pure, essential, natural, vital, energy-containing, clean, conscious, true, honest and wise". A sattvic diet is essentially vegetarian ( as it is based on the religious principle Ahimsa, not causing harm to other living things.) It emphasizes on seasonal foods, fruits, dairy products, nuts, seeds, oils, ripe vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and non-meat based proteins. 
Sedative foods also called as static foods, or tamasic foods are foods whose consumption, according to Yoga, are harmful to either mind or body and are not included in Sattvic diet. Such foods include meat, fish, fertilized eggs, onion, garlic, scallion, leek, chive, mushroom, alcoholic beverages, durian (fruit), blue cheese, eggplant, opium, and stale food. Source

Before, moving ahead with the recipe, let us have a look at the health benefits of eating Kidney Beans a.k.a Rajma. Kidney bean is a variety of the common bean (Phaseolus Vulgaris). It is named for its visual resemblance in shape and color to a kidney. Kidney beans are a rich source of folic acid, calcium, carbohydrates, fiber, and proteins.


 Health Benefits of Kidney Beans: Source
  • Lowers Cholesterol - The high content of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber in kidney beans lowers cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Good for Diabetes - The low glycemic index of rajma balances the sugar content of the body.
  • A powerhouse of protein - Kidney beans have high protein content and can serve as a great substitute for meat in vegetarians.
  • Helps in weight loss - Kidney beans keep one full for a longer time due to a large amount of dietary fiber. Also, the low-fat content makes it a wholesome low-calorie meal.
  • Strengthens the bones - The manganese and calcium present in the kidney beans make the bones stronger and help in preventing osteoporosis.
Preparation Time: 8 hours
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6

  • 3/4 cup red kidney beans/ rajma
  • 1 medium-size carrot, grated
  • 1 small raw mango, grated
  • 2 tablespoon fresh coconut, grated or scrapped
  • 1 tablespoon skinned and split black gram/ urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2-3 dry red chilies, deseeded
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoon oil
  1.  Rinse and soak the red kidney beans in enough water for 6-8 hours or overnight. After the soaking time, drain the kidney beans and rinse with clean water. Transfer them to a pressure cooker with around 2 cups water and salt to taste and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles on medium flame. For this sundal, we are looking for soft and well-cooked rajma but which is not mushy and should hold its shape.

2. Drain the cooked rajma. Reserve the water and use it in soups and dals as it is very nutritious. Now, heat oil in a wok or pan. Add mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add black gram and saute until it turns pink. Next, add curry leaves, green chilies, and broken red chilies. Saute for a while and then add the drained boiled kidney beans.

3. Saute the kidney beans in the spices for 1-2 minutes. Add grated carrots, raw mango, and chopped coriander leaves. Sprinkle some salt and toss everything very well. Be careful while adding salt as we have already added salt while boiling kidney beans.

  4. Lastly, squeeze lemon juice and garnish with scraped coconut and serve the delicious Rajma Sundal !


Recipe Notes:
  • Cook the kidney beans such that they are soft yet not mushy and hold the shape well.
  • Do not skip the lemon juice as it gives a nice tangy flavor to the sundal.
  • Adjust the amount of green chilies as per your spice tolerance.
  • Addition of grated carrots and raw mango is optional but makes the sundal wholesome and filling.
  • The water used for cooking kidney beans can be used in dals, soups or curries.
If you ever try this recipe, do share your feedback with us in the comment section below.
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Check out the following links for more salad and sundal recipes from this blog


  1. Love the recipe Poonam will surely try it

    1. Thanks a lot Megha for stopping by and for the lovely feedback. Do share your feedback once you try it.

    2. Rajma sudal looks healthy and superbly delicious Poonam. Loved your small balti. Beautiful click.

    3. Thank you di. Do give it a try.

  2. I like the addition of carrots and coconut here. I generally make this with cucumber and tomato and do not give any tempering. Liked your recipe would love to try.

    1. Thank you Renu. Carrots, raw mango and coconut with tempering gives it a typical South Indian touch.

  3. Festive season or not, sundal is a favourite snack at our place. I've never made it with rajma, though. Looks and sounds absolutely delicious!

    1. Then you should definitely give this Rajma sundal a try Priya. Thanks.

  4. Such a colorful and tempting Rajma Sundal Poonam. Most of the times I've used red kidney beans to make a Mexican salad but have never thought of using them in an Indian flavored salad. Definitely a salad one can enjoy on its own as a light meal.

    1. You are absolutely right di, you can have this rajma salad on its own. It is protein rich, delicious and filling .

  5. What a colorful Rajma Sundal, I make it with onions tomatoes and cucumber with lemon juice, love the tempering here and addition of coconut. Very nutritious and filling!!

  6. My family loves sundal varieties. Your version of Rajma sundal looks so inviting.It is so filling and nutritious.

  7. Lovely presentation Poonam, sundal looking very delicious with grated coconut and carrot.you made this sundal more nutritious by adding carrot. Loved all your salad collection, they all are very tempting 👌

  8. Rajma Sundal looks absolutely delicious here Poonam. The serving balti looks so cute, I have too similar kind one ;)

  9. If there is one dish I can't make it is sundal. (There are lot more but we focus only on this right now). I love the way you have made the sundal. Will try making a small quantity but not sure if mine will be as pretty as yours.

  10. I love any kind of beans and sundal is my favorite way to enjoy them! Always look forward to different varieties of sundals during Navrathra :) Awesome share dear; simple, yet super delicious!

  11. Healthy and nutritious rajma sundal. I would love to munch it anytime. I love adding mangoes and carrot to sundal. Beautiful presentation

  12. Kidney bean sundal with all the veggies looks so flavoursome. I would love to have it for dinner. Nice share for the theme.

  13. Nice high protein vegan recipes, thank you for sharing!
    what else can be added along with beans