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Rajma masala served in a enamel bowl with a spoon
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5 from 4 votes

Rajma Masala- Kidney Bean Curry

Rajma masala or red kidney bean curry is comforting, delicious and one of the most popular curries from north India. Here cooked red kidney beans or rajma is simmered in a flavorful tomato based gravy and served hot with rice (chawal). Rajma chawal is a favorite combo that is very popular in north India. Vegan and gluten free recipe.
Prep Time12 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time13 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: rajma, rajma chawal, rajma masala
Servings: 3
Calories: 329kcal
Author: Harini


  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans / rajma (large) around 2.5 cups cooked or vanned kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup very finely chopped onions from 2 large onions
  • 2.5 cups tomato puree from 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 green chilies slit
  • 1 inch ginger peeled and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1.5 teaspoons garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2.5 cups water plus 1/2 cup more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves
  • 2 teaspoons crushed kasuri methi


  • Pick, rinse and soak 1 cup dry rajma or red kidney beans in 4 cup water for 8-12 hours. Rinse the soaked beans thoroughly multiple times in cold water. By now the beans should have doubled in size.
  • Place the inner pot in your instant pot and switch it on. Press saute button and once it displays hot, add 2 tablespoons oil. Add cumin seeds and fry for few seconds.
  • Next add 1 cup finely chopped onions and saute for a minute.
  • Now add minced ginger garlic, slit green chili and sate well. You can add ginger and garlic paste if fresh ones are not available.
  • Now pour the tomato puree and mix.
  • Add garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Mix well and saute for 3-4 minutes well.
  • Now let the tomatoes cook thoroughly. This takes between 12-15 minutes. Once they are well cooked oil will ooze from the sides.
  • Once the tomatoes are well cooked, add 1/2 cup water to de glaze. Mix well.
  • Now add drained kidney beans and mix well. Add 2.5 cups water and salt to taste
  • Close the instant pot. Cancel saute mode.
  • Set the pressure valve to seal and press the pressure cooker mode. Set time to 35 minutes.
  • Once done, release pressure manually. Simmer for 15-20 minutes in saute mode. You can add 1/2 cup to 1 cup water if the curry is very thick.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves and kasuri methi. Mix well. Serve rajma with rice for rajma chawal or roti.

Stove Top Instructions

  • Cook soaked and drained kidney bean until completely soft. If you press a bean it should not have bite. It takes 20-25 minutes in pressure cooker and 40-50 minutes in a pan. Drain excess water and set the cooked bean aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan for masala
  • Add cumin seeds to hot oil and saute for few seconds
  • Next add finely chopped onions, ginger and garlic, slit green chilies. Saute for a minute
  • Add tomato puree, followed by spice powders. Saute well and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add the drained cooke beans and mix well.
  • Add around 1 to 1.5 cups water and salt to taste.
  • Mix wel and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Add kasuri methi, coriander leaves and miz well. Serve hot.


  1. You can add 2 teaspoons ghee just before serving for enhanced flavor. If you want to keep the curry vegan, skip ghee though.
  2. Instead of garam masala powder you can whole spices too. Add 1 bay leaf, 2 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 2 cloves, 1/2 inch cinnamon and 1 star anise.
  3. The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  4. To make restaurant style rajma masala, add some cream and fried ginger julienne just before serving.


Serving: 3g | Calories: 329kcal