Rajma Recipe | Rajma Masala (Punjabi Recipe)

Rajma Recipe | Rajma Masala (Punjabi Recipe)

Prep Time : 9 hrs
Cook Time : 45 mins
Total Time : 9 hrs 45 mins



For pressure cooking

  • 1 cup rajma – 200 grams (dried kidney beans), any variety
  • 3.5 to 4 cups water for pressure cooking
  • enough water for soaking rajma

For ginger-garlic-chilli paste

  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves – medium-sized
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 to 2 green chillies or 1 to 2 Serrano peppers

Other ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Butter + 1 tablespoon oil or 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¾ to 1 cup finely chopped onions or 150 grams onions or 1 large onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes or 250 grams tomatoes or 3 medium or 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or hot paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1.5 to 2 cups rajma stock (the water which was used to cook the beans) or fresh water
  • salt as required
  • 1 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) – optional
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons low fat cream or half and half or 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream – optional
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves – for garnish, optional



  • Rinse and soak the rajma (kidney beans) in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.
  • Next day, discard the water and rinse the beans again in fresh water for a couple of times.
  • Drain all the water.

Pressure Cooking

  • In a 3 litre pressure cooker, take both the soaked rajma and water.
  • Pressure cook on a medium to high flame for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • When the rajma is cooking, you can chop the onions, tomatoes etc.
  • Crush the ginger, garlic and green chillies in a mortar-pestle to a fine or semi-fine texture. Set aside
  • When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid.
  • Check if the rajma beans are cooked or not by taking a bite or pressing a few beans.
  • If the beans are cooked well set aside or drain the beans.
  • If the rajma are not cooked completely, then pressure cook again adding some water if required for some minutes.

Making masala

  • Heat oil + butter in another pot or pan on a low heat. Add cumin first and let them crackle & get browned.
  • Then add onions and sauté them till they caramelized or golden browned on a medium-low to medium heat.
  • Take care not to burn them as this will give bitter tones in the curry.
  • Light browning the onions is also alright.
  • Keep on stirring the onions while sauteing them, for uniform cooking and also so that they don’t get burnt.
  • Lower the heat and add the crushed ginger-garlic-chili paste. Stir and sauté for 5 to 10 seconds on a low flame until the raw aroma of the ginger and garlic goes away.
  • Add the tomatoes. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-low to medium heat until the tomatoes become soft.
  • Add all the spice powders one by one – turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, asafoetida (hing) and garam masala powder.
  • On a medium-low heat or medium heat stirring often sauté the whole masala mixture until the fat starts leaving the sides of the masala base. This masala paste will become glossy, thicken and leave the sides of the pan.
  • Using a slotted spoon or a strainer remove the beans and add them to the masala.
  • Stir and sauté for a minute.

Making rajma masala

  • Add 2 cups of water. If you prefer you can also add the cooked rajma stock instead of fresh water.
  • Add salt as required and stir the whole curry mixture.
  • On a low heat to medium-low heat simmer without a lid for 10 to 12 minutes or more time until the curry thickens slightly. It should not be watery.
  • Mash a few rajma beans with the spoon. This helps to thicken the curry.
  • When the rajma masala has thickened and comes to the right consistency which is neither too thick nor thin, then add the crushed dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) and cream. You can skip the cream if you prefer.
  • Stir and simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Switch off the heat.
  • Serve rajma masala with steamed basmati rice, jeera rice or naan or roti or paratha. You can garnish with some coriander leaves when serving.
  • The rajma chawal combo makes for a filling, heathy and a comforting meal.

Leave a Comment