Spinach Rajma, How to make Spinach-Chili


Vegetarian, Vegan Chili, Gluten Free Chili, Vegetarian Chili, Spinach Chili, Rajma

Vegetarian, Vegan Chili, Gluten Free Chili, Vegetarian Chili, Spinach Chili, Rajma

This Vegetarian Chili with Spinach also is known as Rajma is hot, healthy, delicious and protein packed. They’re practical in that you can make large batches and enjoy for days on end. This can be made with very simple ingredients and stays well for couple days for you to enjoy as left overs.  When you add the right spices, everything tastes exceptionally good and so is this Vegetarian Chili.  And the best part is this Vegetarian Chili with Spinach dish is not only Vegan but also Gluten Free.

For me,  Rajma or Chili was an acquired taste. I didn’t eat a lot of Rajma/Chili while growing up. I did develop a taste for it when I started making it for my husband who loves this dish a lot and always complains that I don’t make this frequently.

The way, I prepare the Rajma is slightly different than the chili you get here. I don’t add minced meat in it nor do I add stock in it. I keep it simple and the taste doesn’t vary vastly from the famous chili that you get here.

The red kidney beans are loaded with protein and make a  healthy and filling dish. I went another step up and added chopped spinach in my rajma/chili. It was delicious. I still made the beans to be the star though and the spinach just added to the flavor.

This thick, satisfying, spicy rajma/chili’s creamy texture is comforting.

If you are not using canned beans and want to prep your beans from scratch then follow the following steps.

Vegetarian, Vegan Chili, Gluten Free Chili, Vegetarian Chili, Spinach Chili, Rajma

Vegetarian, Vegan Chili, Gluten Free Chili, Vegetarian Chili, Spinach Chili, Rajma

Vegetarian, Vegan Chili, Gluten Free Chili, Vegetarian Chili, Spinach Chili, Rajma


  • 3 cups rajma/red kidney beans soaked overnight and boiled (Alternatively, you can use canned red beans)
  • 4 TBSP oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch ginger minced
  • 3 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP ground lightly toasted cumin seeds
  • 3 big tomatoes pureed
  • 1 TBSP tomato ketchup or pasta sauce (this will give a very rich red color to your chili/rajma)
  • 1 cup spinach (I used Costco’s organic spinach mix)
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 TSP Turmeric
  • 2 green chilies sliced (optional)


  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy nonstick skillet
  • Add the onion and stir, until they are tender and beginning to color, about 8 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and ginger, and stir together until the raw smell of garlic is gone, for about a minute.
  • Add the ground chili, cumin, chopped green chilies, chopped tomatoes, turmeric, and salt
  • Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, until the mixture begins to stick to the pan and the oil starts to separate from the onion-tomato masala
  • Stir in the tomato ketchup/pasta sauce. Simmer for about another 10 minutes until the mixture is thick and fragrant.
  • Add the boiled/canned rajma/red kidney beans and add the desired amount of water
  • Cook for another 40 to 45 minutes on medium to low heat
  • Add the chopped spinach into it and cook for another 10 minutes covered. With a wooden spoon mash the beans a bit to thicken the gravy.
  • Shortly before serving stir in the cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes

How to Pressure Cook Dried Red Kidney Beans
Soak the beans overnight.
Wash off kidney beans and add to pressure cooker with enough water.
Bring kidneys beans to a boil.
Turn heat to medium and place cover and stopper on top.
Once the stopper starts to rock, cook kidney beans for 20-25 minutes.
Turn heat off.
Only after the pressure has completely released from cooker, should you open it (~25 minutes and as a check, make sure the pressure valve is no longer raised).
Check that beans are cooked and if not, boil for a bit more with lid off.

Then follow the method to make the Chili.

Crock Pot Method:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a crock pot or slow cooker and give them a quick stir.
  • Cover and cook on your crock pot’s low setting for about 6 to 8 hours.

Insta Pot Method:

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Vegetarian, Vegan Chili, Gluten Free Chili, Vegetarian Chili, Spinach Chili, Rajma







Author: MyYellowApron

I’m scrappy, weird and goofy. I’m a snob when it comes to a LOT of things.., Mainly – coffee, wine and chocolates. I laugh loud and yell louder. I run fast, but walk slow. I love walking long walks with a hot mug of coffee held tight between my hands. I have lonely eyes and a kind heart. I forgive but rarely forget. I remember the silliest of things and forget important matters. I love to run, read, cook and entertain. I draw inspirations from anything and everything aesthetic. There are numerous people who have and still continue to enrich my life in many good ways. I will remain indebted to them – Always. My dad is my biggest fan when it comes to cooking. I could see his eyes light up every time I serve something. My mom’s agility and affectionate nature that reflects on her food is something I’m still trying to master. Travel fascinates me amongst other things. Leave me in Venice and I would get lost in its timeless beauty – The canals. The piazzas. The art. The espresso. Leave me in NYC and I would tirelessly walk the length and breadth of the city (after all, There is always something open 24 hours a day). Through this blog, I am hoping to bring in my passion and love for a few things – Cooking, Travel, Kids, Coffee, Clothes and in the interim learn more myself. Hope I am able to do justice to my PASSION.

61 thoughts

  1. It is the exact same thing with us here. I didnt grow up eating rajma and I dont care for it that much, where as the husband loves it 😀 The spinach in it is a great idea, maybe I will like it just a little more with this 🙂


  2. Oh man this looks totally food. I love the combo of beans and spinach. its so nice to have another meatless monday recipe. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s quite amazing to see foods prepared in different ways. We also include chili in some of our dishes so I’m sure I would surely love this dish.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mmmm….Your Spinach Chili looks divine! It’s a perfect comfort food recipe. From your photos I can almost taste it right now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The photos look awesome and the recipe looks yummy. Would you have any advice for someone running a food blog on how to take the best photos.
    Thanks and keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chili has always been one of my favorite foods especially in the winter months. I have never made spinach chili but it does sound good. My son doesn’t eat meat anymore right now so this would be a perfect dish to make for his. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not a big fan of chili because of my GERD, but I do love spinach!! My mom makes this spinach soup with corn, it is very good!!!

    Love your pictures!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I didn’t soak the beans overnight with my first chili. That was many years ago and people in the fam. still laugh about it. 😉 This one sounds good.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Just looking at this dish makes me believe there is a good spice to it. I think it’s cute he says you don’t make it enough, I mean he could learn and then you could do it together. Your recipe though looks absolutely amazing and to be shared with others.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good vegetarian chili is hard to find. This recipe both sounds and looks amazing. I will have to try this out when I get the chance. Although I don’t have a pressure cooker. Although I have always thought about getting one. Maybe this will inspire me.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This looks divine! I love your photos and I love a hearty cup of chili! I have never added spinach to mine, but it sounds like a great complement of flavors.


  12. I love vegetarian chili and used to make it quite a lot in the fall. I haven’t made a chili dish in ages but will start up again when the weather cools. This looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

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