Rajma Masala (Spicy Kidney Beans Curry)

This particular recipe of ‘RajmaMasala’ or Kidney Beans Curry goes very well with both rice as well as roti or naan. And when you have ‘Rajma Masala’ and steamed rice or ‘Jeera Rice’, do you need anything else! Though I’m a Bengali and it is very unusual to have addiction for Rajma, still in my home there are no side dishes made on the day when ‘Rajma Msala’ is cooked. Just the melt in the mouth kidney beans curry along with rice and you have a comforting meal with a salad by side. At home we also have ‘Rajma Masala’ with roti or parathas. You can also serve ‘Rajma Masala’ with bread for breakfast. Try it tastes equally good!

While making rajma, the kidney beans have to be cooked very well. They should melt in your mouth when you bite into them offering no resistance but at the same time it should not be soggy else the taste of rajma masala will be lost. I suggest to cook the rajma fully so that they become soft and easy to digest. Remember, well cooked kidney beans are easy to digest. So it’s important to soak the rajma or kidney beans overnight or for 8-9 hours and then cook them really well in a pressure cooker. Also buy beans which are new and not old. The older they are takes more time to cook and we don’t get the perfect texture in the ‘Rajma Masala’. I always check the packaging date while buying them and I don’t buy rajma if they are older than 6 months.

There are two types of Rajma available in market. One is lighter in color (takes less time to cook) and other is darker color variety. Both take different time to cook. So adjust the pressure cooking time accordingly. In this recipe I have used darker variety of Rajma or kidney beans. Here goes my recipe of ‘Rajma Masala’ ……

  • Servings: 5-serving
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Cuisine: punjabi
  • Passive Time: 480 mins
  • Course: side dish
  • Preparation Time: 15 mins
  • Cooking Time: 45 mins


200 gms Rajma or Kidney Beans (Any variety)
1 cup Onion – (Finely chopped)
1 cup Tomato – (Finely chopped)
1 ½ tsps Garlic Paste
2 tsps Ginger Paste
1 tsp Green Chilli Paste
1 tsp Coriander Powder
½ tsp Cumin Powder
¾ tsp Red Chili Powder
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
½ tsp Punjabi Garam Masala Powder
½ tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Dry Whole Red Chilli
2 Bay Leaf
2 tsps Kasuri Methi or Dry Fenugreek Leaves
4 – 5 Tbsps Vegetable Oil
1 – 2 tsps Ghee or Clarified Butter
3 cups Water – (For pressure cooking)
Salt – As required
For Garnish
Coriander Leaf
Onion Rings
Wedges Lemon


  1. Rinse and soak the rajma or kidney beans in enough water overnight or for 8-9 hours. Next day, discard the water and rinse the beans again in fresh water. Now adding water double the amount of rajma, boil in a pressure cooker. Cook till 2 whistle and then simmer for 5-6 minutes. Now let the pressure settles of its own. Remove the cover and check the rajma. If they are not cooked completely, then pressure cook again adding some water if required for some more minutes.
  2. Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, dry red chilli and bay leaf.
  3. Then add onions and sauté them till they caramelized or golden browned.
  4. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste and chilli paste. Stir and sauté for another 1-2 minutes on low flame.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes till the tomatoes become soft and mushy. If you wish you can add tomato puree too.
  6. Add all the spice powders one by one except garam masala powder. Stir and sauté the whole masala mixture till the oil starts leaving the masala.
  7. Add dry fenugreek or kasuri methi.
  8. Now add the boiled rajma with water. Add salt. Mix very well and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes on low-medium heat. It should not be watery.
  9. When the rajma masala has thickened and comes to the right consistency which is neither too thick nor thin, then add the garam masala powder.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander, onion rings and lemon wedges and serves Rajma Masala with steamed basmati rice, Jeera Rice or Naan.


~ Canned kidney beans can also be used. In this case, just make the curry or sauce first and then add the rajma beans and water.


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