Rajma Masala | Kidney Beans Curry

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Punjabi Rajma Masala, also known as Kidney Beans Curry, is a wholesome and delicious meal enjoyed with steamed rice or roti. Simple ingredients and easy-to-make rich curry will become your go-to recipe soon!

About Rajma Masala

The Rajma Masala Recipe or Red Kidney Beans Curry is a classic dish that many people across India love. This hearty and comforting dish is the ultimate comfort food for many people.

A wholesome and satisfying meal – Rajma Sabji and Steamed Rice is a combo no one can ever resist.

This North Indian Curry is made from tender kidney beans that are cooked in a rich and aromatic onion-tomato-based gravy, and flavored with a mix of whole and powdered spices.

Save this Best Rajma Masala Recipe for your next Rajma Chawal craving!

Rajma Masala Ingredients

Kidney Beans – are the star ingredient of the rajma masala recipe. These red beans are packed with protein and are a good alternative for people who follow vegan and vegetarian diets. You can read about the various ‘types of kidney beans’ described below.

Onions and Tomatoes – are used to make a rich, aromatic gravy in this recipe.

Aromatic Spices – such as a bay leaf, and black cardamom, and powdered spices such as cumin-coriander powder are used.

rajma masala

Types of Rajma (Kidney Beans)

Rajma, also known as Rajmah or Razma, is originally from Mexico. It is used a lot in Indian, Pakistani, Mexican, and Nepali cooking. Rajma is a great way for people who don’t eat meat to get protein from their meals.

Red Rajma (Red Kidney Beans): These beans are dark red and come in small and big sizes. Red kidney beans need to soak for 7-8 hours or overnight before cooking. It is ideal for recipes that have a long slow cooking process.

Jammu Rajma / Kashmiri Rajma (Kashmiri Kidney Beans): The best thing about this type of rajma is that you don’t have to soak them overnight. They are small, so you can soak them for 2-3 hours and then cook.

Chitra Rajma (Speckled Kidney Beans): These beans are light brown or white.

Black Rajma (black beans or pinto beans): Black Rajma is the most common kidney beans. They come in big and small sizes.

Watch the Recipe Video!

How to Make Rajma Masala

Step 1 – Wash, Soak and Cook

To begin, rinse the kidney beans (rajma) with water. Soak it in water for 5-6 hours or overnight. Drain the water and the soaked beans into a pressure cooker or instant pot. Add water and pressure cook till the beans are soft.

Drain the water from the cooked kidney beans (Rajma). Set it aside, we will use this reserved water later.

Step 2 – Temper the Whole Spices

Heat a pan over low heat and ghee (clarified butter) to it. Substitute ghee with oil for vegan Rajma Masala.

Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black cardamom, cumin seeds, and asafoetida (hing powder). Sauté for a few seconds.

Step 3 – Add the Aromats

Add the ginger and garlic paste to the pan. Sauté for a few seconds and cook till the raw smell disappears.

Next, add the chopped onion and grated or pureéd onion to the pan. Sauté for two minutes and let the onions cook until they become golden brown.

I have used both chopped and grated onions but you can use either one of them. Chopped onions add a nice crunch to the gravy.

Step 4 – Add the Powdered Spices

Once the onions are cooked, add turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin, and coriander powder. Mix well and don’t let the spices burn.

You can also add 2-3 tablespoons of water to prevent the spices from burning.

Step 5 – Add the Tomatoes

Add the tomato pureé and combine everything well.

I have used homemade tomato pureé, you can also use store-bought tomato paste or canned tomatoes.

Cover the pan with a lid and let the tomatoes cook. Cook till the oil separates from the tomatoes.

Step 6 – Add the Kidney Beans

Next, add the pressure-cooked rajma beans and salt to the pan.

Combine everything well. Add the reserved rajma water as required. If you want the curry to be thicker then add less water.

Cook for 6-8 minutes till the gravy thickens.

Also Read: Dal Palak | Spinach Lentil Dahl

Step 7 – Final Touches

Once the gravy has reached the desired thickness, add garam masala and kasuri methi. Stir and let it cook for another two minutes.

Step 8 – Garnish & Serve

Garnish the curry with some freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Pair the Punjabi Rajma Masala Curry with rice or jeera rice. Serve it along with a dollop of yogurt or creamy beetroot raita as a side dish. This is the best combination!

You can also try the rajma masala curry with naan or chapati.

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to soak the Red Kidney Beans overnight. If you are soaking it for less time then soak it in warm or hot water and pressure cook it for more whistles until beans are soft.
  • You can also use canned beans. Just make sure to rinse the kidney beans thoroughly before using them in the curry.
  • If you want to make it spicy you can also add some chopped green chilies with the tempering.
  • You can replace cumin powder, coriander powder, and garam masala with 2 tablespoons of Rajma Masala.
rajm a masala curry


1. Can I make a recipe for Rajma Masala without a pressure cooker?

Yes, absolutely! You can cook the soaked kidney beans on the stovetop but it will take longer. Soak the rajma overnight and simmer the curry on low heat until the kidney beans are soft.

2. How spicy is Rajma Sabji?

You can make it as spicy as you like by adding a little bit of red chili powder and Rajma Masala at first, and if you want more spice, you can add more later.

3. Can I make this Rajma Recipe in Instant Pot?

Absolutely! You can prepare this Rajma Masala Recipe in ‘Pressure Cook’ mode in the Instant Pot. Simmer the curry on ‘Sauté’ mode at the end for a few minutes to get a thick gravy.

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Rajma Masala Recipe | Kidney Beans Curry

Rajma Masala or Kidney Beans Curry is a classic that is loved by many people across India. This is a hearty and comforting dish!
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 300 kcal


  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans (Rajma)
  • 3 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 no black cardamom
  • 1 no cinnamon stick
  • 1 no bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon hing powder (asafoetida)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 2 nos medium red onions grated or pureed
  • 2 nos medium tomatoes grated or pureed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi
  • salt as needed
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves chopped
  • water as needed


  • Clean dried red kidney beans (Rajma) with water and soak it for 8-9 hours or overnight. Drain the overnight soaked kidney beans (Rajma) and clean them with fresh water. Keep it aside.
    1 cup dried red kidney beans (Rajma)
  • Next, pressure cook the soaked kidney beans (Rajma) with 2 cups water for 3-4 whistles. Drain the water from the boiled kidney beans (Rajma). Set it aside, we will use this reserved water later.
  • Heat oil or ghee in a kadhai or pan. Add the black cardamom, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf to the oil. Let the whole spices release their oil, but do not let it burn.
    3 tablespoon Oil, 1 no black cardamom, 1 no cinnamon stick, 1 no bay leaf
  • Add the cumin seeds, and hing powder, and let it crackle. Next, add the ginger paste, and garlic paste. Sauté till the raw smell of ginger and garlic disappears.
    1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon hing powder (asafoetida), 1 teaspoon garlic paste, 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • Now, add the onions (grated or pureed) and sauté for 3-4 minutes or till golden brown.
    2 nos medium red onions
  • Add cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and red chili powder. Keep stirring so that the powdered spices don’t burn.
    1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Then, add the tomatoes (grated or pureed) to the pan. Cover the pan with the lid and let the tomatoes cook.
    2 nos medium tomatoes
  • Next, add the cooked rajma with the reserved water in which it was cooked and let it simmer on low flame. Add the reserved water according to your preferred consistency. With the back of the ladle slightly press some rajma so the gravy becomes a bit creamy and thick.
  • Add the salt, garam masala powder, and kasuri methi. Mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes.
    1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder, 1 teaspoon kasuri methi, salt
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve it with some Steamed rice or Jeera rice.
    1/4 cup coriander leaves
Keyword Indian Curry Recipe, Kidney Beans Curry, Rajma Curry, Rajma Masala

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