Rajma Masala is a delicious red kidney beans curry that is cooked in onions, tomatoes and spices. It’s light, creamy, delicious and pairs best with steamed rice or jeera rice. You should definitely try this fool proof recipe at home. I can vouch for it’s best taste as I never make false claims. 🙂
Rajma Chawal – The combo that you simply cannot resist eating. A true comfort meal on plate!
It makes a great weeknight dinner meal when you want to eat something easy to cook and tasty to the core.
This is one of the most popular North Indian dish and indeed everybody’s favorite. Very rarely you will find few people who may not love to eat it.
I am always in for it. Not only me but my whole family is a diehard Indian kidney beans curry fan.
This curry also makes a good meal for lunch boxes.
My kids love to carry chana masala poori, rajma with rice, paneer butter masala with rotis and much much more. They feel happy sharing home cooked meals with their friends in school. And I am contented. 🙂
What is Rajma Masala?
Rajma masala is indeed a flavorful curry of red kidney beans cooked in Punjabi Style.
First, we soak the red kidney beans over night and then boil it until the beans cooks well.
Then, cook the boiled beans in onion tomato gravy and basic spices. You really do not need any kind of store bought rajma masala powder.
The basic available ingredients in your kitchen will give the best and creamy rajma recipe at home.
The steaming hot rice topped with Punjabi style rajma masala, spicy green chutney and onion rings. Sprinkle some chaat masala over it. It tastes DIVINE!
Believe me, this combination will blow you over. This rajma rice plate is melange of nutrition and taste.
The roadside stalls in Delhi sell this dish and people are crazy to eat it.
But, you can make it easily at home and enjoy it exactly the way they serve on street side stalls.
Important Tips – A must follow to get the best taste
Remember! Always use the kidney beans from the fresh stock packet. Never, use the beans from the old stock, so do check for package date. Or, you may find that very old stock kidney beans do not cook well. So, fresh stock is thumbs up!
For best result, always, soak the rajma beans overnight (8-9 hours) in good amount of water.
Always cook the rajma until it is tender. Ensure that the cooked beans mashes easily and also hold the shape. Do not leave even a bit of bite in beans. This helps in giving a perfect creamy texture and taste to the rajma masala.
I love to crush ginger, garlic and green chilies coarsely in mortar pestle or in grinder and then use. This enhance the taste of the curry. But, if you wish to, you can add ginger garlic paste and finely chopped green chilli instead.
For the best taste, I always blanch, peel and then puree the tomatoes and use. You are free to use finely chopped or grated tomatoes as well. Or simply blend tomato to paste and use.
The addition of butter or ghee gives the best taste to dish. So, consider adding either or butter at the end. Or, cook the masala in ghee.
A dash of Kasuri methi, lemon juice and a bit of sugar makes a huge difference. It will only do good to this curry and you will never regret. So, add a bit of all these and you shall experience the wonders it does.
The one secret that I really want to share with you all here. This rajma curry taste best the next day. It soaks up all the flavors from the spices from the gravy giving the finest taste to the dish . So, do this trick for any parties or celebrations. So, cook it a day ahead. Refrigerate it. And then Serve it to guest the next day.
Do not use any store bought rajma masala powder, as you do not need one at all. Use the basic spices that I have added here and follow the exact method, taste will always be delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions For Rajma Recipe
Can I make Rajma without onion and garlic?
Good news is Yes! You can make rajma masala without onion and garlic.
Follow the exact method. Just that, skip onions and garlic from the ingredients. Instead, heat hing (asafoetida) along with cumin seeds in oil or ghee.
Then, add tomatoes and spices and proceed with the rest.
Can I make it vegan?
Yes! Skip butter or ghee and follow the rest.
Can I freeze the Rajma curry?
Absolutely! You can freeze the cooked curry in freezer up to 2 months.
Transfer the curry into freezer safe box and freeze. You can freeze this either in portions or in bulk, whatever suits your need.
Whenever, you want to eat it, just thaw it on counter for sometime, reheat and eat it.
Can I use canned red kidney beans for this recipe?
Yes, you can use canned kidney beans to make this curry.
Use the whole content from the can, do not throw away the liquid from it. Canned beans liquid helps to thicken the cure making its creamy and delicious.
Step by Step Recipe Photos
To begin with, first, clean wash and soak rajma beans in enough water for 8-9 hours (or overnight). Photo 1
Now, add soaked and strained beans in pressure cooker along with cinnamon stick, bay leaves, 3 cups of water and garam masala powder. Pressure cook the beans until tender. Set it aside. Photo 2 & 3
Next, either in a mortar pestle or in mixer grinder, add green chillies, ginger and garlic. Crush it to a coarse paste and set it aside. Photo 4 & 5
In a pan, heat oil or ghee (or a mix of both). Once the oil heats up, add cumin seeds and fry for few seconds. Photo 6
Then, add finely chopped onions and cook until onion starts getting golden. Do not over brown or burn it. Photo 7
Add ground ginger garlic chilli paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Photo 8
Then, add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and pureed tomatoes and mix. Add salt and cook for high heat for 3-4 minutes. Or until the masala starts leaving the oil. Photo 19, 10 & 11
Then, add the cooked onion tomato masala to the boiled beans and mix. You can add some more water as per the consistency you need. I have not added water at this point, as I like creamy curry. Photo 12
Pressure cook it again with masala for another 2 whistles. Let the pressure release on it’s own and then open the pressure cooker. Photo 13
Finally, add sugar (optional), lemon juice, garam masala powder, kasuri methi and 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Photo 14 to 18
Sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves on rajma masala and serve it with plain rice or jeera rice, chutney, sliced onions on the side.
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- 1 cup Rajma (Red Kidney Beans)
- 1.5 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 1-2 Bay leaves
- 3 cups Water
- 1.5 teaspoons Garam Masala Powder
- 2 Green Chillies
- 1 inch Ginger Piece
- 6-7 Garlic Cloves
- 3 tablespoons Oil or Ghee
- teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1 cup Onion
- 1.5 teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
- 1.5 teaspoon Coriander powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 4 Tomatoes medium sized, blanched peeled and pureed
- Salt To Taste
- 3/4 teaspoon Sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Kasuri Methi
- 1 tablespoon Butter
How to make rajma recipe
- Clean wash and soak kidney beans in enough water for 8-9 hours (or overnight).
- Add soaked and strained beans in pressure cooker along with cinnamon stick, bay leaves, 3 cups of water and garam masala powder.
- Pressure cook the rajma beans until tender. Set it aside.
- Next, either in a mortar pestle or in mixer grinder, add green chillies, ginger and garlic. Crush everything to a coarse paste and set it aside.
- In a pan, heat oil or ghee (or a mix of both). Add cumin seeds and fry for few seconds.
- Add finely chopped onions and cook until onion starts getting golden. Do not over brown or burn it.
- Add ground ginger-garlic-chilli paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Then, add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and pureed tomatoes and mix.
- Add salt and cook for high heat for 3-4 minutes. Or until the masala starts leaving the oil.
- Then, add the cooked onion tomato masala to the boiled beans and mix. You can add some more water as per the consistency you need.
- Pressure cook it again with masala gravy for another 2 whistles. Let the pressure come down on own.
- Finally, add sugar (optional), lemon juice, garam masala powder, kasuri methi and 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Rajma masala is ready to serve. Sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves and serve it with plain rice or jeera rice, chutney, sliced onions on the side.