Diet & Nutrition 7 MIN READ 135 VIEWS June 29, 2022

Easy Rajma Recipe for You to Try

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Rajma Chawal is a famous North Indian curry that is commonly served with rice. It’s a gluten-free, vegetarian, and nutritional meal served at lunch or dinner. This Rajma recipe is a lightly spicy, creamy, and delectable Punjabi-style curry cooked with protein-rich kidney beans, aromatics such as onions, ginger, garlic, fragrant spices, and tangy tomatoes.  

Recipe NameRajma
Place of OriginNorth India
Total Time Taken55 minutes
Preparation Time10 minutes

Rajma Ingredients

  1. ¾ cup Rajma
  1. 2 tablespoons Oil
  1. 1 teaspoon Cumin
  1. 1 Bay leaf
  1. 2 Cardamom Pods
  1. 2 Cloves
  1. 2 Onions grated
  1. 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
  1. 3 Tomatoes pureed
  1. 1 teaspoon Chilli Powder
  1. 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  2. ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  1. 1 ½ teaspoon Salt
  1. 3 cups Water divided

For tempering:

  1. 1 tablespoon Ghee
  2. 1 teaspoon Cumin
  3. 1 tablespoon julienned Ginger
  4. 1 teaspoon chopped Garlic
  5. 1 teaspoon Kasuri Methi
  6. 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  7. 2 tablespoons chopped Coriander


Step 1: Soak rajma overnight or in one hour using a rapid soaking method [Boil rajma for say 2-3 minutes, switch off the gas, keep the lid over it and allow it to sit for 1 hour]

Step 2: Drain the rajma and add it to the pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. Cook for 5-6 whistles, or around 30-35 minutes, on medium heat. Allow the pressure to naturally release while you prepare the gravy.

Step 3: In a kadhai, heat the oil and add the cumin, bay leaf, cardamom, and cloves. When the cumin seeds begin to sputter, add the grated onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the ginger garlic paste. Cook this mixture over low heat for 10-12 minutes, or until the onions turn golden brown and soften.

Step 4: Combine tomato puree, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric, and salt in a mixing bowl. Cook for a minute or two on high heat, then reduce to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes, partially covered, until the oil begins to appear on the top and sides.

Step 5: Add the cooked rajma (together with the cooking liquid) and one cup of water to the pan. Stir thoroughly and leave to simmer for 10 minutes or until the gravy thickens.

Step 6: Heat the ghee and add the cumin, ginger, and garlic to form the tempering. After a few minutes, add the Kasuri methi and garam masala. Turn off the heat and pour this over the heated rajma.

Step 7: Serve immediately with steaming rice and fresh coriander.

Restaurant-Style Rajma recipe


  1. 200 grams red kidney beans (rajma), about 1 cup, soaked overnight in water to cover 
  2. 1 bay leaf (tej patta)
  3. 1 black cardamom pod
  4. 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  5. 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  6. 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  7. 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  8. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  9. 1/2  teaspoons coriander powder
  10. 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  11. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  12. 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
  13. 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  14. 3 tablespoons ghee
  15. 1 piece cinnamon
  16. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  17. 2 dried red chilies
  18. 200 grams onions, finely chopped
  19. 1 cup fresh tomato puree, from about 2 tomatoes
  20. 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste


Step 1: Drain the soaked red kidney beans (rajma) in a colander and place them in a pressure cooker set to high pressure. Pour in 1 1/4 liters of water and put in the bay leaf (tej patta) and black cardamom pod. Allow the pressure cooker to reach full pressure before sealing it (1st whistle). Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool before serving.

Step 2: Pour ghee into a kadhai or wok over medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, and dried red chilies after the ghee is heated. Stir for about 1 minute, or until they begin to darken in colour. Insert the chopped onion and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the onion begins to brown around the edges. Stir in the garlic and ginger pastes until they lose their grittiness.

Step 3: Stir in the turmeric powder, coriander powder, and red chilli powder until well combined. Then add fresh tomato puree, and salt, and simmer for 8 to 9 minutes, or until the oil leaves the masala.

Step 4: Pour in the cooked red kidney beans (rajma), together with the water and whole spices that were used to prepare them. 2 to 3 minutes, mashing with a heavy spoon or ladle to crush/mash some of the red kidney beans (rajma). Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the black cardamom powder and black pepper powder, then cover and boil for 2 minutes.

Step 5: Remove from the heat, transfer to a serving bowl, and serve immediately over boiled or steamed rice.

Punjabi-Style Rajma Recipe


  1. 200 grams rajma
  2. 550 ml Water 
  3. 1 Onion 
  4. 2 Tomato 
  5. 1/2 stick Ginger 
  6. 4 cloves Garlic
  7. 4 tablespoons Oil
  8. 1/4 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
  9. 4 cloves Clove
  10. 3 Bay Leaves
  11. 1/2 tablespoon Garam Masala
  12. 1/4 tablespoon Turmeric Powder
  13. 1/2 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  14. 1/2 tablespoon Cumin Powder
  15. 1/4 tablespoon Cinnamon Powder
  16. 1/4 tablespoon Red chilli powder
  17. 1/2 tablespoon Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  18. 1/2 tablespoon Salt

Ingredients for Tempering (Tadka)

  1. 2 tablespoons Oil
  2. 1/4 tablespoon Cumin seeds
  3. 4 Kashmiri Red Chillis


Step 1: Soak the rajma overnight or for at least 6 to 8 hours in the amount of water specified in the ingredients.  Rinse the rajma thoroughly before adding it to the pressure cooker.

Step 2: In a pressure cooker, combine 350 mL of water and 1/4 Tbsp salt with the rajma. After 4 whistles, the rajma will be perfectly cooked. Allow the pressure in the cooker to release.

Step 3: While the pressure cooker cools, rinse the tomato, onion, ginger, and garlic and cut them into large chunks as shown in the ingredients.

Step 4: Now, heat a kadhai with 1/2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, ginger, and garlic chunks and sauté until golden in color. After the onions are cooked, add the tomato, close the top, and simmer until the tomatoes are mushy. Allow the onion and tomatoes to cool or at the very least get warm.

Step 5: Add a little water to the grinder jar with the onion and tomatoes. Puree should be smooth after being ground.

Step 6: Transfer the kadhai to the fire and add the remaining 3 1/2 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sputter.

Step 7: Then add the bay leaves and clove and cook for a minute.

Step 8: After that, combine all of the remaining spices: turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, cinnamon powder, garam masala, red chilli powder, and Kashmiri red chilli powder.

Step 9: To make the spices aromatic, combine them all and sauté for a minute. Then stir in the onion and tomato puree until completely combined.

Step 10: Cook over medium heat until the water content has evaporated and a thick masala mixture has formed.

Step 11: Transfer the cooked rajma with the remaining water to a kadhai, season with salt, and add some more water (about 200 to 250ml) to correct the consistency.

Step 12: Close the top and boil at a medium temperature until the gravy is medium thick.

Step 13: Rajma is now thoroughly cooked and ready.

Step 14: Let’s begin with the tadka, or tempering. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small tadka pan. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and allow them to sputter. Then add the Kashmiri red chilli and cook till crisp. Tadka should be prepared and poured just before serving.

Tips to Enhance the Taste

  1. It is important to soak the rajma (kidney beans) overnight or for 8 to 9 hours before cooking them thoroughly. Soaking dried beans makes them easier to digest since it reduces the amount of phytic acid in them.
  2. Raw beans have a greater taste than canned beans, so use them instead. Soak them in water and pressure cook them until they are mushy and melt in your mouth.
  3. Large kidney beans are lighter and cook faster. Also, new beans should be used rather than old beans because they would take longer to cook.
  4. To make a smoother gravy, finely chop the onions (with a food processor) and sauté them until tender and brown.
  5. Simmer the kidney bean curry over low heat; the longer it simmers, the better the flavour combines. 
  6. To help thicken the curry, mash some beans and add them to it.
  7. As the curry cooks, it will thicken more, so adjust the consistency to your preference.

Serving Ideas

To begin serving rajma, place hot steamed rice on a serving plate. Make a lovely bed of rice. Serve the rajma gravy over the rice. Enjoy your rajma chawal with some thinly sliced onions, and lemon wedges or spice it up with a simple kachumber salad or mango pickle. Rajma curry goes well with roti, paratha, naan, or bread. However, the combination of kidney beans curry with rajma, also known as Rajma Chawal, is particularly popular in Western and Northern India.

Nutritional Content in Rajma

Calories195 kcal

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is it okay if I use dark kidney beans?

Normally, pinkish and striped kidney beans are used in Punjabi rajma masala, although dark red kidney beans can also be used.

Q2. Why are my rajma beans not cooking properly or taking so long to cook?

It may take longer or shorter to cook the beans depending on their quality and freshness. Avoid using old beans because they don’t soften or cook effectively.

Q3. What should I do now since I forgot to soak the kidney beans?

There are two possibilities available to you. A “fast soak” approach is one of them. Cover the kidney beans with boiling water, cover the dish, and soak for 1 to 2 hours. They should now be rinsed, drained, and ready to cook. You can also use canned beans in place of dried beans.

Q4. What is the best way to make a thick gravy for rajma masala?

Instead of crushing the cooked beans, you can ground or mix around 1/4 cup of cooked beans with sufficient water to form a fine paste. Simmer this paste with the curry base. Due to the extra starch in the sauce, the final rajma masala will have a thick consistency.

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