Rajma (Kidney Beans) Curry Recipe

I am delighted to share this post, after such a long break. I must say I have been trying to publish this one since weeks, haven’t been able to. Lots going on at work and at home. More on that later though. On with the topic now…

Sunday is everyone’s favourite day of the week and I am no different. Apart from the obvious, there was always one more reason to look forward to it. Ever since I can remember, there is one dish that I have been eating on all my Sundays – Rajma Chawal. This is one that must be declared the national dish of India! I mean I am yet to meet someone who dislikes Rajma! and when you combine it with Rice, the duo is just out of this world!

I’m only covering the method to cook Punjabi style Rajma Curry in this post. One can pair it with some Steamed Rice or Jeera (Cumin) Rice. Or if you are not a big fan of rice, you can also have it with Indian flatbreads – Naan or Rotis.

Cooking Time – 45 minutes
Prep Time – 9-10 hours (for soaking)
Serves – 4


  1. Rajma – 1.5 cup
  2. Black Pepper Bals – 2-3
  3. Water – 4-5 cups
  4. Onions – 2 big or 3 medium sized – cut into big chunks
  5. Garlic cloves – 5
  6. Ginger – 1 inch
  7. Tomato puree (Ground tomato) – 5 tbsp (or 2 ladles full)
  8. Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  9. Haldi (Turmeric) – 1/4 tsp
  10. Dhaniya (Coriander) Powder – 1 tsp
  11. Green Chilli – 1-2 pieces slit in half
  12. Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp
  13. Kashmiri Masala Powder – 1/4 to 1/2 tsp (optional)
  14. Salt – as per taste (keep tasting during the process, the inadequate quantity may ruin the dish)
  15. Refined Oil – 3 tbsp
  16. Fresh coriander leaves to garnish


  1. Soak the rajma overnight in enough water.
  2. Drain the water and put the rajma in a pressure cooker, add salt, black pepper balls and fresh water and pressure cook for 15-20 minutes on full flame. Switch off the flame once done.
  3. While the beans are boiling, grind the onions, garlic cloves and ginger together to make a paste.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion paste on medium flame till it turns golden in colour.
  5. Add the tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Now add the spices – chilli powder, turmeric and coriander powder. Cook, till you can see the oil separating out from the paste or the smell of uncooked tomatoes and onions, is gone.
  7. Check on the rajma once the pressure is released. See that they have cooked by taking a bite. If they offer some resistance then pressure cook again for a whistle.
  8. Add the curry masala to the rajma. Also add the green chillis now. Bring the mixture to boil then cook on low flame without the lid to thicken the gravy. It is very important to not leave the curry watery, it should merge well with the beans with a smooth consistency.
  9. Now is a good time to check on the salt and chilli content, make changes as required.
  10. Once it reached the desired texture i.e neither too thick nor too runny, add the Garam masala and Kashmiri masala and mix well.
  11. Rajma Curry is ready and ready to be served. Garnish it with fresh coriander and serve hot!!

Points to Note:

  1. For a well-cooked dish, it is essential that the beans are thoroughly cooked and do not have a bite in them. They should melt in the mouth and have a consistent gravy.
  2. In order to get the right texture, it is important that the beans are soaked overnight. If you do not have that kind of time, there are other hacks available like this one.
  3. Do not brown the onion paste as it might impart a bitter taste, keep it golden in colour.
  4. Let the pressure release naturally whenever you need to open the rajma lid, as forcefully releasing it will mess up the water content inside.
  5. When cooking the rajma after mixing the curry masala, if you think the water content is less but the gravy is not thick enough, cook with the lid closed to retain the water. If you think the water content is too much – then cook on full flame without the lid.

I hope you try this recipe and love this dish as much as I do 🙂
Do share your favourite Sunday food or your Rajma experiences if you have any, in the comments below.


13 thoughts on “Rajma (Kidney Beans) Curry Recipe

Add yours

  1. I cannot tell you how much I love Rajma Chawal. The first time I had the dish was in Jammu and from there I started enjoying it. I cannot remember last time I had rajma chawal but whenever I am going home I will request my mother to make it.
    I don’t know how to cook but whenever I decide to learn I will begin with this dish.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My tribal staple sauce is called fillinda- we cook the beans in a very similar way- except we peel the bean coat off-so it forms a tasty very thick gravy-
    Am def gonna try this.

    Good job Snigdha.

    Liked by 1 person

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