Urmil Aunty’s Punjabi Lohbia

I learned this recipe by experimenting over the years — it’s similar to rajma.  When I was growing up in New Delhi, my mother used to make something similar.

A lot of people ask me for this recipe when they try it.  The key is to let the beans simmer for a while, if you have the time.  It is best served with rice.


  • 1 cup red chori beans
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp haldi
  • 1 Tbs. ghee (butter)
  • Hing
  • 1/4 tsp red chile powder


  1. Clean red chori beans (pick out any stones and wash thoroughly). 
  2. Heat 7 cups water in the pressure cooker on high.  Add the beans.  Add the salt and haldi and cover pressure cooker.  Once the steam starts, let it cook for about 6 minutes  and turn off.  Wait until you can open the pressure cooker.
  3. Check hardness of beans — they should still be a little hard (so the lobia doesn’t get overcooked).  Put lid back on and let simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add 2 tsp tamarind and let simmer on low heat for another 10-15 minutes (and longer if you have time). 
  5. Vagar: add ghee – when melted, add jeeru, hing, haldi, little red chile (can also add garlic and onions).  Add to beans.
  6. Enjoy on its own or with rice. 

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