Punjabi Rajma Masala (Red Kidney Beans Curry) is a much loved spicy curry in most Indian Households and it goes very well with rice, chapati, or any Indian bread. Here is how to make this curry in a traditional Punjabi style at home.
Here some more Rajma Recipes for you, to fulfill Protein intake for the day – Kashmiri Rajma, Sundal, and Old Fashioned Kidney Bean Salad.
What is Rajma?
Rajma is also called Red Kidney Bean in English. It is popularly used in North India and Nepal to make curries.
There are many varieties of this bean. The popular ones are Kashmiri, Citra, and Red Rajma.
Although it is said that Kashmiri variety is the best after trying out all the varieties many times, I have started to use only Chitra variety.
It cooks very well and evenly and gets slightly mushy when cooked in a curry giving the curry a perfect texture.
Rajma or Kidney Beans are high in Protein. They are also high in fiber, folate, and magnesium. High Fibre in Rajma promotes healthy digestion, and Folate and Magnesium promote good heart health. You can read more about it along with its benefits here.
About This Recipe
Rajma Masala or Red Kidney Beans Curry is a dish prepared from boiled beans simmered in a creamy, rich onion tomato based gravy.
It also has some everyday spices which add a lot of flavor to the tomato-onion base of this curry. Don’t forget to add fresh coriander leaves at the end, it adds a beautiful color and freshness to the curry.
Rajma Curry and Rice is comfort food for many Indians and the popularity of the combination is increasing day by day around the world.
This Rajma Chawal combination is very popular in North India and you will find many street stalls selling this delicious combination with some spicy green chutney, sliced onions, and lemon.
This dish can easily score top among the most loved dishes in India. Native to Punjab, this curry has become a favorite almost in all parts of India.
Like many other Indian dishes, each house has its own recipe to make it and with a slight variation here and there, it becomes a family-owned recipe that passes from generation to generation.
This Punjabi curry is,
- Easy to make
- High in Protein
- Apt for your everyday meals
Rajma – You can use any variety of Rajma to make this Punjabi curry. I prefer using Chitra variety, as it cooks really well.
Tomatoes – We will use both finely chopped tomatoes and tomato puree to get that perfect tangy taste and the right consistency of the gravy.
Spice Powders – We will use some everyday spice powders for this authentic Punjabi Curry such as coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, dry mango powder, and garam masala powder.
Oil – Use mustard oil for the authentic taste, but if you do not have the same, you can make this curry with any vegetable oil or even ghee.
Other Ingredients – Other than the above-mentioned ingredients, we will need onions, ginger garlic paste, salt, and fresh coriander.
Step by Step Recipe
Wash the rajma and soak in enough water for 5-6 hours. Drain the water.
Add the soaked rajma in a pressure cooker with 2 tsp of salt and 3 cups of water. Cook till it is soft and cooked. Remove the pressure cooker from heat and keep aside.
Heat oil in a Karahi / pan.
When the oil is hot, add onion and fry till translucent.
Add Ginger Garlic paste and fry till onion is golden brown.
Add chopped tomato and tomato puree and cook for a minute.
Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, amchoor powder and garam masala powder and fry for a few seconds.
Add 1/2 cup water and cook the masala till oil separates on the side of the pan.
Add the cooked rajma along with the water and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Slightly press a few rajmas with the back of a ladle.
Add more water and salt if required. Garnish with Fresh Coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make this curry without onion and garlic, add some oil or ghee in a pan.
Add cumin seeds and hing and fry for a few seconds. Add tomato puree and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Now add the dry spices and fry until oil separates from the sides. Add the cooked rajma and cook for 10-15 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves at the end.
Rajma is a staple in Kashmir and it is made in a very different style in Kashmir. The gravy is curd based and is loaded with spices like fennel, dry ginger, etc.
Check out my detailed Kashmiri Rajma Recipe here.
While our stay in the US, I used to buy canned kidney beans and that made the process of making this curry very easy.
You can use the canned beans too. Do not throw away the liquid as it has a lot of starch from Rajma which makes the gravy very creamy.
You can cook it on low heat, to make the curry thick, or can also mash some of the Rajma into the curry.
You can even grind the onions and use them in the curry, instead of using finely chopped onions. You can even add a little fresh cream, to make the curry thick and creamy.
Just add the Rajma in a bowl, cover it required water, and soak for about a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.
Soaking it helps Rajma to cook properly. If not cooked properly, it ruins the texture in the dish and also affects your stomach
Just cook the masala as per the recipe. Once the onion-tomato masala is cooked with spices, add uncooked rajma, required water and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles, and then cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
To freeze rajma masala, you can transfer it in a freezer-safe box and just keep it in the freezer for up to 30 days.
When you are ready to eat it, take out the container and let it rest on the counter for 2-3 hours until the content thaw and then reheat until nice and warm.
The curry keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
If you ask any North Indian about their favorite weekend meal, Rajma Chawal will definitely be on top of the list.
Rajma Masala Recipe
- 1 cup Rajma
- 4 tbsp Mustard Oil
- 1 and 1/2 cup Onion (Finely Chopped)
- 2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 3/4 cup Tomato (Finely Chopped)
- 3 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 3 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
- 2 tsp Amchoor Powder
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander (Chopped)
- Wash the rajma and soak in enough water for 5-6 hours.
- Drain the water.
- Add the soaked rajma is a pressure cooker with 2 tsp of salt and 3 cups of water.
- Cook till rajma is soft and cooked.
- Remove the pressure cooker from heat and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- When the oil is hot, add onion and fry till translucent.
- Add Ginger Garlic paste and fry till onion is golden brown.
- Add chopped tomato and tomato puree and cook for a minute.
- Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, amchoor powder and garam masala powder and fry for a few seconds.
- Add 1/2 cup water and cook the masala till oil separates on the side of the pan.
- Add the cooked rajma along with the water and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Slightly press a few rajmas with the back of a ladle.
- Add more water and salt if required.
- Garnish with Fresh Coriander.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.