Sunday, August 25, 2013

Recipe of the month: Rajma Cheese Paratha

I must have already professed my love for aloo parathas in an earlier recipe post but there is another paratha that catches my fancy in a similar way. This is the not-so-common and unusual sounding 'Rajma Cheese Paratha'. This paratha has a filling which is a combination of kidney beans, cheese and spring onions which makes for a surprisingly delightful combination. 

Several years ago, I bought a cookbook by Tarla Dalal which was dedicated to parathas. I still have that book with me and it is stashed along with my other cookbooks on a kitchen shelf. I will admit that I haven't tried too many of the recipes from this book but one of the first ones that I did try and absolutely loved was this rajma cheese paratha. I have been making this paratha for a really long time and it is one of my go-to recipes when I'm in the mood for parathas. This dish is not only delicious but nutritious as well. Incorporating kidney beans and cheese into a whole wheat paratha, fortifies the dish with protein, carbs and fat. If you are worried about the cheese being in there, just go for a low-fat option. The addition of cheese imparts a creamy texture to the paratha so I wouldn't recommend skipping it.

I make this paratha in two ways depending on my frame of mind and how much time I have on hand. Sometimes to make a paratha, I make two small chapatis, place the filling on top of one, smear the edges with a little water, place the second chapati over the top, seal the edges and roll until the desired size is reached. Other times, I make just 1 chapati, place the filling in the centre, gather the edges to enclose the filling, pat down slightly and roll it into the desired size. The former technique is much easier but more time consuming so if you don't have too much experience in paratha making, I would suggest that method. But if you are particularly adept at making parathas, then you can follow the method shown in the recipe. 

I already had a draft ready for this recipe but I delayed posting it because I was unhappy with how the photos turned out. It was just one of those days when the weather decided to screw me over! I have too many other recipes on my cooking radar so I didn't foresee a time when I'll be making these parathas again any time soon. That's my excuse for you being stuck with the original crappy photos! I may update the photos in this post at a later stage.

Rajma Cheese Paratha

Preparation time: 40 min; Cooking time: 2-4 mins per paratha
Makes: 6 parathas
Serves: 2-3
Recipe Category: Main Course/North Indian
Recipe Level: Easy
Recipe Source: Tarla Dalal's Paratha cookbook


For the dough (Makes 6 chapatis):
1 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
2 tsp oil
salt to taste

For the rajma filling:
1/2 cup red kidney beans (rajma), soaked overnight
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 large sized clove of garlic, chopped/crushed
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp roasted cumin (jeera) powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste

Other ingredients:
1 small bunch or 1/2 cup spring onions with greens, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated processed cheese, preferably low-fat
2 tsp oil for cooking


For the dough:

1. Combine all the ingredients and knead into a soft dough using enough warm water

2. Cover the dough with clingwrap or a damp towel and let it sit for 20-30 min

3. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions

4. At the time of making the parathas, roll out each portion into a small circular chapati

For the rajma filling:

1. Combine the rajma, tomatoes, garlic, green chillies, half of the onions with some water and pressure cook till the rajma is overcooked. Keep aside the drained water.

2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the remaining onions and sauté till the onions are translucent

3. Add the rajma mixture, chilli powder, cumin powder, sugar, butter and salt (add less keeping in mind the cheese) and cook for 2-3 minutes until the moisture is evaporated

4. Mash the rajma in the mixture so that there are no large chunks

5. If the mixture is too dry, add the drained water and mix well.

6. Keep aside to cool. When ready, the filling should be able to come together as a ball.

How to proceed:

1. Place one chapati on a dry and flour dusted surface and spread one portion of the rajma filling in the centre of the chapati.

2. Sprinkle some spring onion greens and 1 tbsp of grated cheese on top.

3. Bring in all sides of the chapati towards the centre to enclose the filling, pinch off the excess dough and roll out into a paratha. Dust with flour if the paratha sticks to the rolling board. 

4. Place a pan on medium heat. When hot, cook the paratha on both sides, using a little oil till they have brown spots.

5. Serve hot with any pickle of your choice and plain yogurt (if desired)

  • The chapati dough needs to be firm and non-sticky so it will be easier to roll
  • If you have whole kidney beans in the mixture, it can tear the paratha while you are rolling
  • Make sure that the filling has cooled down thoroughly before rolling out the parathas
  • If you find that the filling is too soggy, you can microwave it for a few minutes. This removes any residual moisture from the filling
  • You can use the water that was used to cook the rajma to make chapati dough, stews or soups
  • If you decide to use canned kidney beans, you can fry the rest of the rajma filling ingredients, add the kidney beans and mix until all the ingredients come together. Mash the kidney beans, cool  the filling and proceed as described



  1. Looks delicious Megha. Now im hungry at work ! :)

  2. Very interesting combination! Will try it soon :).

  3. We made this a couple times after come back from India, Prithvi in particular liked it :) Thanks for adding another option to our paratha arsenal :D


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