Rajma Masala : Most Popular North Indian Curry

Rajma Masala is an very popular curry in North India and is considered a true Punjabi meal which is incomplete without it. Rajma is traditionally vegan until you add ghee to it and gluten-free also.

It is a protein rich curry. Whenever  you go to market, you will find variety of kidney beans. There are two types of variants of Rajma … dotted and lighter coloured ones and the other dark kidney beans. There are some varieties that are smaller in size. The smaller kidney beans are used in Kashmiri Rajma, which is made with a different recipe and also uses different spices. You can find the recipe in my cookbook. You can use either one of the light or dark color large kidney beans to make Punjabi style Rajma. 

The pressure cooked beans are then cooked with onion, tomatoes, ginger-garlic and with freshly grounded spices like coriander, garam masala, chili powder etc. Rajma is kidney beans curry is made by pressure cooking raw kidney beans that are soaked overnight.

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time1 hr
  • Total Time1 hr 15 min
  • Yield5 Plate
  • Serving Size200
  • Energy304 cal
  • Cuisine
    • Indian
  • Course
    • Main Course
  • Cooking Method
    • Cutting
    • Sauteing


    • 1.5 cups kidney beans 300 grams, raw beans, soaked in 4 cups water
    • 3.5 cups water 28 oz
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • For the masala
    • 2 tablespoons oil 30 ml, use oil of choice
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1 cup grated onion from 2 medium red onion, around 320 grams
    • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
    • 1 green chili chopped
    • 4 medium tomatoes pureed, around 560 grams
    • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1 teaspoon garam masala
    • 1.5 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
    • 1.5 cups water 12 oz, divided
    • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi crushed, dried fenugreek leaves
    • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • 1 tablespoon ghee 15 ml


Preparing the spices


Soak kidney beans overnight in 4 cups water. In the morning, drain the water

in which the beans were soaked and then transfer them to a pressure cooker.


Add 3.5 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and pressure cook on high heat for 1 whistle.

Simmer the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Get the pressure release naturally. 


Beans should be completely soft when done. Keep them aside.


Get a pan and add 2 tablespoons oil on medium heat. After getting it heated up,

add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Then add the grated onions and mix.


Saute the onions for around 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often until light golden in color

and there should be no raw smell. Compared to chopped onions, (if using chopped,

cook for 3-4 minutes only) the grated ones needs to be cooked for a longer time to get

rid of the raw smell. Don’t rush the step else curry will have raw onion smell and taste.


Then add ginger-garlic paste and green chili and cook for 1 minute. Add the pureed

tomatoes and mix. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add the spices- coriander, turmeric,

kashmiri red chili, garam masala and salt.


Mix well and cook on medium-low heat for around 10 mins until oil oozes out of masala.

Altogether, we cooked the tomatoes for around 10 -15 minutes before adding the kidney beans.


Add the boiled beans along with all the water in which they were boiled. 

Stir well and set heat to low-medium. Let the curry simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

In between, mash some of the beans to make the curry creamier and thicker.


After simmering for 20 to 30 minutes, add kasuri methi and chopped green coriander leaves.

If you wish you can also add bit of cream (optional, around 1 tablespoon). Add 1/2 cup water

as it became quite thick while simmering. You can adjust consistency as per your preference.


Finally add a tablespoon of ghee and mix.You may fry ginger julienne in ghee and

add to the rajma too. Turn off the heat. Serve rajma with rice and enjoy!


  • Use Kashmiri red chili powder to give curry a nice color without imparting much heat.
  • Add a bay leaf, 2-3 green cardamom, 3 black cardamom and 1-inch cinnamon stick for an extra flavouring and smoothing smell.
  • Use 2 teaspoons rajma masala powder and cutr the quantity of coriander powder and garam masala to 1/2 teaspoon each, to get an authentic Punjabi taste.
  • 5 servings per container
  • Serving Size200
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories304
  • % Daily Value*
  • Total Fat10 g12.82%
  • Saturated Fat2 g10%
  • Trans Fat0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat0 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat0 g
  • Cholesterol8 mg2.67%
  • Sodium881 mg38.3%
  • Total Carbohydrate42 g15.27%
  • Dietary Fiber11 g39.29%
  • Total Sugars5 g
  • Protein14 g28%
  • Calcium79 mg6.08%
  • Iron5 mg27.78%
  • Potassium1067 mg22.7%
  • Vitamin A132 mcg14.67%
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)22 mg24.44%