Rajma Masala

  • Author: Kavitha
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


Spiced kidney bean curry



  • 1/2 cup dry Kidney Beans (rajma)
  • 1 whole peeled Onion
  • 2 cloves peeled Garlic
  • 1 inch peeled Ginger
  • 2 medium Tomatoes
  • 1 inch stick of Cinnamon
  • 1 Bay Leaf (tej patta)
  • 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder (adjust according to spiciness required)
  • 1 teaspoons Coriander Seeds Powder (dhania powder)
  • 2 teaspoons Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vegetable or Canola Oil


  • You can modify the recipe to use what you have on hand or make it easier
  • If you have canned kidney beans, use them. Make sure they are soft but not too mushy


Cooking the Kidney Beans – in a pressure cooker

  1. Soak the dry beans in water overnight. Wash and rinse out the water.
  2. Add the beans to cooker. Fill up with water (cover the beans with water and then add a couple of cups more). Add 1-2 teaspoons salt and mix well.
  3. Add the onion, garlic and ginger (whole) to the cooker too. You can save time by blanching them here itself.
  4. Close the cooker lid and let it cook for 8-10 whistles.
  5. Once the pressure releases, remove the beans (and save a cup of the water) onto a bowl.
  6. Watch out for a soft texture, but not overly mushy. The number of whistles can vary depending on the quality of your beans

Cooking the Kidney Beans – in a saucepan

  1. Add the washed beans, onion, ginger and clove and fill the sauce pan with water. Bring it to a boil.
  2. Let it cook on medium flame for around 20-30 minutes until the beans are cooked through.

Making the rajma masala gravy

  1. In a blender, add the blanched onion, garlic and ginger. Also add the tomato and grind to a smooth paste.
  2. In the same cooker / pan, heat oil. Add the cinnamon and bay leaf and let them fry until you smell an aroma (around 30 seconds)
  3. Add the onion-tomato paste and mix well. Keep stirring frequently to avoid burning. Add a cup of water (reserved bean water, if you have). Cook till it reduces.
  4. It will take around 4-5 minutes for the raw smell of the paste to disappear. Then add the dry spices – chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, salt and sugar and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the mixtures turns into a paste and oil starts to come out from the sides of the pan.
  5. Add the cooked beans and mix well. Add 2 cups of water or enough to cover the beans and a little more. Mix well.
  6. Again close the cook lid and let it cook for 8-10 minutes. If you’re making this on a saucepan, let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Remove, mix well. Fish out the bay leaf and cinnamon stick.
  8. Serve as required


  1. Do not make the mistake of cooking dry kidney beans with the spices and gravy. It will take a long time to cook. Save the time by cooking the beans ahead of time.
  2. If you’re using canned beans, make sure the beans are soft, but not too mushy.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Indian