Main course

Rajma Masala / Rajma Chawal/ Red kidney beans curry

Accomplish your daily right plant protein intake by this Spicy, tangy curry with red kidney beans.

This North Indian delicacy, claimed to have its roots from Punjab, is a creamy, and melt in a mouth dish.

Red kidney beans are a great source of vitamins, minerals and protein when cooked rightly. However, the improper cooking can make it toxic.

Generally, Rajma chawal is a two thingnthat is meant to be one!

yes, like dosas and sambar’s!

Rajma is red kidney beans curry and chawal is rice in Hindi. As they form a perfect pair the dish itself is called as Rajma Chawal.

have you ever tried Rajma chawal recipe with instant masala pack before? if so, I bet you ‘ll find this recipe much interesting,yummy and a fool proof way than your masala pack version.

Here’s how to get your Rajma chawal right with properly cooked Red kidney beans.

How to select your Rajma?

While buying Rajma, I would suggest to get that dark red colour kidney beans as they add a beautiful colour to your dish and also it was believed to cook soon.

If not don’t worry, any other Rajma could do the work but the colour wouldn’t be as shown here. It would be slightly pale.

You can also use precooked canned Rajma’s and I wouldn’t recommend it though, as I don’t use canned products much.

Looking for any other modern but healthy breakfast inspiration? Checkout my Millet pancake recipe

Soaking and cooking

It’s good to soak Rajma for twelve hours or a minimum of eight hours. Longer the soaking hours it is easy to cook and also it removes the toxicity of Rajma.

If you happen to reduce the soaking time you need to cook them more to get rid of the bity Rajma’s. Also, making them to soak overnight helps in easy digestion.

Okay! What if you need to make the Rajma today and forgot to soak?

There is still a solution.

You can still soak it for 2 hours in a hot water and the lid kept tightly closed. This is how I do sometimes, when I don’t have a meal plan.

In my early stages of cooking, When I didn’t worry about the soaking time, this would be my way to go method.

But, when I read an article about red kidney beans goodness and toxicity, I would always prefer to increase the soaking time.

After all, the nutrients values the most right?!

Creamy without cream

If you ran out of cream, or on some diet that beholds you from adding cream, there is still a fool proof way to make your Rajma masala creamy.

Just mash some rajma in your rajma masala with laddle to get that creamy consistency without adding cream.

This may sound simple, but really makes your gravy look rich and tastes heavenly.

Serving options

Dive deeply into this super creamy rajma recipe that makes a perfect combination to your steamed rice, pulao, phulkas, Roti’s and Naan.

Pair them perfectly with roasted papad, pickles or sabji ‘s.

Pairing Rajma chawal with hot jeera rice, roasted papad, salad and pickles are our favourite way.

So, here you go !

Preperation time10 min
Soaking time12 hours
Cooking time 20 min


Red Kidney beans (Rajma)1 cup
Water4 cups
Onion1 big
Tomato1 cup
ginger(finely chopped)1 tblsp
garlic (finely chopped)1 tblsp
tomato puree1/4 cup
Green Chilly(slit)2
Coriander powder1/2 tsp
Cumin powder1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder1/4 tsp
Garam Masala powder1/2 tsp
Dry mango powder1/4 tsp
Dry ginger powder1/4 tsp
Fresh coriander2 tblsp


ghee or oil1 tblsp
Fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)1 tsp
Cumin 1 tsp
pomegranate kernels1 tsp

To Proceed

  • Soak rajma or kidney beans atleast for 8 – 12 hours .
  • Pressure cook them by adding 4 cups of water on low heat, for 20 min or until they are cooked soft .
  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Peel, wash, and finely chop ginger and garlic, set aside.
  • Peel, Wash, and chop the onions.
  • Wash and chop the tomatoes.
  • Puree a medium sized tomato.
  • Wash and slit 2 green chillies.
  • Gather all the spice powders as given in the ingredients list.
  • Take a deep bottomed pan or kadai add oil or ghee when it’s hot.
  • Add finely chopped ginger and garlic and saute for few minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
  • Add chopped onions and saute till translucent.
  • Now add green chilly and tomatoes and saute until it loses it state.
  • Now, add the coriander, cumin, Red chilly, garam masala, dry ginger and mango powder one by one.
  • Now, when the pressure is released add the cooked rajma with water and tomato puree to this mixture and simmer it for another 10 mins.
  • Adding tomato puree, really gives tanginess to the gravy making it luscious.
  • Add water if it’s necessary.
  • Add some salt to taste.
  • Season this rajma mix with ghee, bayleaf, fenugreek leaves, cumin and fresh pomegranate kernals.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander.
  • Top with extra butter or cream or you can totally skip that.


You can top this Rajma masala with extra block of butter, cream or chopped onions or even you can serve that, as it is.

that topping of cream is always recommended if serving rajma for a party or for guests making it much rich.

A dash of lime can also be added to give that extra kick.


  • If you’re using oil instead of ghee , I would recommend you to use mustard oil.
  • You can also use ginger garlic paste instead of finely chopped ginger and garlic.
  • If you’re using ginger garlic paste for the same measurement of ingredients, add 1 1/2 tblsp of paste instead of finely chopped ones. Also, fry them in oil after adding onions.
  • Strain the water, you soaked the kidney beans in before you pressure cook them.
  • If you don’t like the tanginess in your curry you can skip adding the amchoor powder.
  • You can also add Anar powder instead of seasoning it with pomegranate kernels.
  • if using Anar powder add 1/4 tsp for the same measurements of ingredients together with other spice powders.

Happy cooking!

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