Rajma is one of the popular curries from north India. It is made with red kidney beans. Growing up in Gujarati family, my mom hardly used to make Rajma. I was introduced to authentic rajma during my college days through one of my north Indian college friends. Her mom used to make Rajma Chawal every Monday and I loved it so much that I will always show up at her place every Monday.

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This particular recipe is home-style cooked rajma recipe. In restaurants, they would add more spices, heavy cream to make curry light and fluffy, and might add some tempering in the end. But I enjoyed this easy and comforting rajma masala today.

Rajma Chawal (Rice)
Rajma Chawal (Rice)

Normally basmati rice or jeera (cumin seed) rice and rajma are the best companions. That’s one of the reasons, this dish is also known as rajma chawal (rice). You don’t need any side dishes with this curry as the kidney beans and rice both are quite heavy in carbs. You can also enjoy Rajma with Paratha, Tandoori roti or Naan instead of rice.


Rajma in Kadai


Heta Sanghvi
Rajma masala is one of the famous curries from north India made with red kidney beans. Mostly eaten with rice so also called as rajma chawal (rice)
Prep Time 9 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 9 hours 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 250 kcal


For pressure cooking rajma

  • 1.25 cups rajma soaked overnight
  • 4 cups water

For rajma masala gravy

  • 2 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch asafetida Hing- optional
  • 1.5 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 or 4 garlic clove or 1tsp garlic paste
  • 1- inch ginger or 1tsp ginger paste
  • 1 or 2 green chilies or 1tsp chili paste
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ to ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 large or 3 medium tomatoes pureed
  • ½ tsp garam masala or to taste
  • ½ tsp rajma masala or to taste
  • 1 tsp crushed kasuri methi dry fenugreek leaves
  • 1.5 to 2 cups water or rajma stock the water which rajma was cooked in
  • Salt to taste


Soaking and pressure cooing rajma(skip if using canned rajma)

  • Rinse and soak rajma 8-9hours or overnight
  • Discard the water and rinse the beans in fresh water
  • In a pressure cooker add 4 cups water and soaked beans
  • Cook it for 15-20mins
  • Rajma is done when you can easily press it between your fingers

Rajma masala

  • Heat ghee or unsalted butter in a pan on medium heat
  • Add cumin seeds when cumin seeds start crackling add asafetida
  • Immediately add chopped onion and sauté it until translucent
  • Add ginger, chili and garlic paste sauté it for 5-10 seconds
  • Add chili, turmeric, coriander, and cumin powder mix it well
  • Add tomato puree and mix it.
  • Cover the lid and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium heat
  • Stir one or two times in between - tomatoes are done when there’s no raw smell
  • Add garam masala and rajma masala and mix it
  • Add rajma stock or water, cooked or canned rajma and salt
  • Cover the pan and cook it for 20 minutes or till gravy is thick
  • Add crushed kasuri methi and let rajma masala simmer for a minute
  • Garnish rajma masala with coriander.
  • Serve rajma masala hot with steamed basmati rice, jeera rice or naan


    • To make rajma masala gluten free skip asafetida (hing)
    • If you are pressure cooking rajma, it is important to soak rajma overnight
    • When pressure settles down, make sure rajma breaks easily.
    • If the rajma is not cooked completely, add some water and pressure cook rajama again for few minutes.
  • If rajma does not turn out tangy add dry mango powder in the end.
  • If you want to thicken gravy quickly add some cream to it

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