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Punjabi Rajma masala curry served in black plate with a spoon into it.
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4.75 from 4 votes

Rajma Recipe

A delicious red kidney beans curry that is cooked in onions, tomatoes and basic spices. If rajma chawal is your pure love then try this fool proof restaurant style recipe, it's always the winner.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Soaking Time8 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Egg-Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 290kcal
Author: Farrukh Aziz


  • 1 cup Rajma (Red Kidney Beans)
  • inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • 3 cups Water
  • teaspoons Garam Masala Powder divided
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1 inch Ginger Piece
  • 6-7 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 tablespoons Oil or Ghee
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 cup Onion
  • teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
  • teaspoon Coriander powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 4 Tomatoes medium sized, blanched peeled and pureed
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (modify as needed)
  • ¾ teaspoon Sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tablespoon Butter



  • Clean wash and soak kidney beans in enough water for 8-9 hours (or overnight).
  • Crush the green chilies , ginger and garlic to a coarse paste using mortar pestle.
  • Note : Alternatively, you can also used minced ginger and garlic along with finely chopped chilies. You can use chopper to chop all three of them together to make a coarse mix.

How To Make Rajma Recipe On Stove Top

  • 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.

Making Rajma In Instant Pot

  • Place the steel insert and switch on the Instant Pot on sauté mode. Heat oil, add cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cumin seeds. Sauté for 30 seconds. 
  • Then, add finely chopped onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until onions start picking golden color. 
  • Add crushed chili ginger garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Then, add red chilli powder, ground coriander, turmeric and pureed tomatoes. Mix and sauté for good 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid spices sticking at the bottom. Add 2 tablespoons of water to deglaze, if needed. 
  • Now, add salt, soaked rajma, ¾ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder and mix. Add 2.5 cups of water and mix
  • Close the lid and seal the pot, press Manual or Pressure cook and set the timer to 30 minutes. Pressure cook on 'High'. Once the IP beeps and cooking is over, let the pressure release naturally.
  • Open the pot, add sugar, remaining ¾ teaspoon Garam Masala, Kasuri Methi, and butter. Press sauté and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until thick and creamy.
  • Dish out, sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice, onion rings, and lemon wedges on the side.



Always soak rajma beans for 8-9 hours (overnight).
Use fresh stock of kidney beans, avoid using very old stock.
Boil or cook the beans until tender and should mash easily. 
Never leave even a bit of a bite in beans as it may upset some people's stomach leading to indigestion. 
Adjust the spices and chilies as per your liking.
Add water as per the consistency of the gravy you like. 
Sugar is totally optional, but I like to add it as it gives balanced flavours to the dish.
Do not miss to add butter or ghee towards the end, it enhances the flavour of the curry.
For vegan version, skip using ghee or butter and proceed with the rest. You can use vegan butter if you wish to.


Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1112IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg