rajma recipe, how to make rajma masala | easy punjabi rajma recipe

rajma recipe

rajma recipe with step by step photos – rajma masala or rajma chawal is one of the regulars at any punjabi house.

this easy and quick one pot rajma recipe, that i am posting here is another one of mom in law’s fabulous punjabi recipe. its her special recipe and it is special in one more sense. its a really, really simple and easy rajma recipe. no grinding, no sauteing, no frying of anything…

this is a one pot rajma curry recipe which you can make regularly at home. a rajma masala that you eat at punjabi homes. not spicy, thick or creamy like the rajma masala served in restaurants. this homely recipe is mildly spiced and not heavy as no cream is used. overall a delicious easy rajma curry. if you are looking for restaurant version, then you check this recipe link for making restaurant style rajma masala.

in most punjabi homes the rajma is cooked till they become soft enough to melt in the mouth. whereas in many of the restaurants i have eaten the rajma beans are just cooked.

i suggest to cook the rajma fully so that they become soft and easy to digest. remember, well cooked kidney beans are easy to digest. another important point which i must mention about making rajma recipe is to soak the rajma overnight so that they take less time to cook in the pressure cooker.

i must also mention that the rajma served in jammu kashmir region of india are also very delicious and famous. if you get a chance to go to jammu or to the holy mata vaishno devi shrine or in kashmir, then don’t forget to order rajma chawal there.

punjabi rajma masala is best served with steamed rice. at home we also have rajma masala with chapatis or phulkas. you can also serve rajma masala with bread.

lets start step by step easy rajma recipe:

1. soak 1 cup (200 grams) rajma beans in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.

soaked rajma, kidney beans

2. the next day or after 8 to 9 hours, drain the soaked water.

rajma, kidney beans

3. rinse the rajma beans again in fresh clean water.

rajma, kidney beans

4. drain them and keep aside.

rajma, kidney beans

5. chop the veggies – 1 large onion (1oo gms), 3 medium tomatoes (200 gms), 1 inch ginger, 7 to 8 medium sized garlic and 1 green chili. keep aside.

veggies for rajma recipe

6. in a pressure cooker add the rajma along with the chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies.

cooking rajma masala

7. now add the spices – 1 tsp cumin seeds, ½ tsp red chili powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt.

spices for rajma masala

8. pour 2.5 cups water (625 ml).

water for rajma masala recipe

9. stir very well.

stir rajma masala

10. add 2 tbsp butter or oil.

butter for rajma recipe

11. stir again.

stir rajma masala

12. cover tightly and pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame.

cooking rajma masala

13. once the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and check the beans. the rajma has to be cooked completely. taste a few beans and they should be melt in the mouth without giving you any bite or resistance while eating. if the beans are still not cooked completely, then add about 1/2 cup more of water and pressure cook again for 5 to 6 whistles or as required.

cooked rajma, cooked kidney beans

14. once the rajma are cooked well, then check the gravy or curry also. you will see thin water like stock with the tomatoes and onions floating. so you have to continue to simmer the rajma masala till the curry thickens a bit.

rajma masala gravy, rajma gravy

15. keep the cooker on stove top without lid and on a low to medium flame to simmer the gravy.

simmer rajma masala

16. when you keep the curry on the stove top, then add 1 tsp dry mango powder/amchur.

add amchur to rajma masala

17. add about ¾ to 1 tsp garam masala powder.

garam masala for easy rajma recipe

18. stir well and simmer the rajma curry till its consistency thickens. mash a few rajma beans with the back of a spoon to thicken the consistency.

simmering rajma curry, rajma masala recipe

19. when the consistency of the curry is no longer broth like or water like and thickened somewhat like the one shown in the pic below. then the rajma masala is ready. if you want you can thicken the gravy more, if having with chapatis or phulkas. lastly check the taste and add more of salt, garam masala, red chili powder or dry mango powder if required.

rajma recipe, rajma masala recipe

20. garnishing rajma masala with coriander leaves is optional. serve rajma masala with some steamed rice or with rotis, parathas or bread.

punjabi rajma recipe

few tips for making rajma masala recipe:

1. make sure that the rajma is soaked well or else it will take a lot of time to cook it.

2. the rajma gravy is not watery but smooth. if you find that the water is too much after the rajma beans are cooked. then cook the rajma without any lid to evaporate the water.

3. if while cooking the water reduces, then add some hot water.

4. the rajma beans have to be soft and well cooked.

5. though i have given the measurements for using water, you may have to check the consistency of the gravy as rajma are different in different places. some rajma beans take a longer time to cook than other varieties. i have faced this issue many times. some times even in spite of cooking the rajma for a good 45 minutes in a pressure cooker, the rajma are not cooked to the fullest. also use rajma beans which are not old. they more aged they are, the longer the take to cook.

6. i have used regular red rajma for the recipe. you could try it with tinned kidney beans. though i have never tried anything with tinned beans and would not know how the recipe would taste. in using regular rajma, the flavors and aroma of the gravy is absorbed by the rajma as we are cooking everything together. not sure if the same would happen for tinned beans.

7. if you do not have a pressure cooker, use big pot to cook the rajma. but it would take a lot of time to cook the rajma in a pot.

you can serve rajma masala with rice, they also equally go well with chappati, roti or bread. but rajma chawal combo is very famous.

if you are looking for more punjabi recipes then do check dal makhani, chole bhature, sarson ka saag, matar paneer, dal bukhara and aloo paratha.

punjabi rajma masala recipe below:

4.4 from 16 reviews
rajma recipe
 
PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
 
punjabi rajma masala - simple and easy one pot punjabi rajma masala or kidney beans curry.
AUTHOR:
RECIPE TYPE: main
CUISINE: north indian, punjabi
SERVES: 4-5
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
  • 1 cup rajma/red kidney beans, about 200 gms, soaked overnight in enough water
  • 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 1 green chili/hari mirch, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic/lahsun or ½ inch ginger, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger/adrak or 7 to 8 medium garlic, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, about 200 gms, chopped
  • 1 large onion, about 100 gms, chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • ½ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
  • ¾ to 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder/amchur powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 2 tbsp butter or oil
  • salt as required
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. rinse the rajma beans for a couple of times in running water.
  2. then soak the rajma beans in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.
  3. the next day or after 8 to 9 hours, drain the soaked water.
  4. rinse the rajma beans again in fresh clean water. drain them and keep aside.
  5. chop the veggies - onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies. keep aside.
  6. in a pressure cooker add the rajma along with the chopped onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies
  7. now add the spices - cumin seeds, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  8. pour water. stir very well.
  9. add butter or oil. stir again.
  10. cover tightly and pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame.
  11. once the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and check the beans. the rajma has to be cooked completely. taste a few beans and they should be melt in the mouth without giving you any bite or resistance while eating. if the beans are still not cooked completely, then add about ½ cup more of water and pressure cook again for 5 to 6 whistles.
  12. once the rajma are cooked well, then check the gravy or curry also, you will see thin water like stock with the tomatoes and onions floating. so you have to continue to simmer the rajma masala till the curry thickens a bit.
  13. keep the cooker on stove top and on a low to medium flame, simmer without lid. stir at intervals.
  14. when you keep the curry on the stove top, then add dry mango powder. also add garam masala powder.
  15. stir well and simmer the curry till the consistency thickens. mash a few rajma beans with the back of a spoon to thicken the consistency.
  16. when the consistency of the curry is no longer broth like or water like and thickened. then the rajma masala is ready. if you want you can thicken the gravy more, if having with chapatis or phulkas.
  17. lastly check the taste and add more of salt, garam masala, red chili powder or dry mango powder if required.
  18. garnishing rajma masala with coriander leaves is optional. serve rajma masala with some steamed rice or with chapatis, parathas or bread.
NOTES
if cooking rajma in a pot or pan:
first soak the rajma as usual for 8-9 hours. drain them and rinse them with fresh water. then in a huge pot, boil enough water first. add the rajma and salt. cook covered for about 45 to 1 hour or more if required. it takes a long time to cook rajma without a pressure cooker.




{ 115 Responses }

  1. Simmi says

    Hi Dassana
    Tried this awesome recipe today very delicious indeed, My hubby and kids including me loved it. Thanks a lot!

    Also I do understand your blog is about vege recipes but is it possible for you to email me some non veg recipes such as chilli chicken, butter chicken.

    another question is if you post any new recipes on your blog is there way to know that you have posted something new recently please advise, thanks

    • says

      welcome simmi. thanks for sharing positive feedback. i don’t have non-veg recipes in written format so won’t be able to help you. all latest recipes are posted in home page – http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/. latest recipes are posted next day on social media sites like facebook, twitter, pinterest. so you can like the social media pages or check the home page. happy cooking.

  2. Simmi says

    Hello Dassana
    This rajma masala looks very easy to make. thanks for making cooking much easier.
    I normally make the rajma the way you have made kala chana. can you please tell with this way of rajma cooking taste come same as the kala chana/lobia recipe i.e.sauting onion, ginger garlic then spices and then tomatoes + green chillies and then roasting rajma for few minutes and adding water and pressure cooking it). Please let me know, thanks

    Regards
    Simmi

    • says

      hi simmi, this rajma masala tastes different that one made with sauteed masala and spices. you will have to try this to know the difference in taste :-)

  3. Tassy says

    Can i add tin rajma which are ready to eat? How to i prepare the dish with ready boiled rajma. Pls reply i have to make it today. Thanks

    • says

      thanks chandana. in rajma usually anardana powder is not added. i suggest to add some lemon juice. and if you do not have lime or lemons, then as a last resort, you can add anardana powder.

  4. Srinivas says

    Soaked the rajma overnight. Nearly 15 whistles and still the damn thing was not cooked :( Read somewhere to soak the beans with some baking soda overnight. Is that a good idea?

    • says

      srinivas, the rajma must be older than 6 months. if they are old then sometimes they can take up to 1 hour in a pressure cooker. try adding pinch of baking soda while cooking and it will help in softening. i have never tried adding baking soda while soaking the rajma. see the expiry date while buying the rajma.

  5. Mukta chanda says

    Ur rajma masala dis very easy to make & yumi…Im bengali &i love to eat rajma..&now also my family.
    In the place of aamchur can i use lemon juice. &can i put patato in the rajma.?

    • says

      thanks mukta. i won’t suggest adding lemon juice because taste will become different. the tang from lemon juice is different from the tanginess of amchur (in chole recipe, this replacement would have worked). just skip adding amchur and add bit of more tomatoes. traditionally potato is not added in rajma but added to chole. but if you like then you can add potatoes.

  6. Sadia says

    I would like to try out this recipe but here where I live we don’t have amchur/mango powder . is it okay if I don’t add amchur ?

  7. Deena D'Souza says

    I’ve been looking for an authentic recipe for so long.this is so easy to make and everyone at home loves it.I’ve made it numerous times and each time it was loved by everyone.Thanks for this great recipe.

  8. Raumali says

    Delicious. Made it today. Though it’s a bit time consuming but the end result is worth it!

  9. says

    Hi Dassana, I’m a big fan of your site. Everytime I want to try a new dish, I check your site to see if you have a recipe for it. We don’t make rajma so often as home as no one likes it much, but your one pot method rajma was an instant hit and everyone at home loved it, including my son who does not like rajma one bit.
    Thank you so much for this simple and tasty, yum, yum recipe.

    Warm regards,
    Medha

  10. EkBanjaran says

    I tried this recipe today while still doing stuff related to my work. I appreciate how simple and easy it is. The recipe turned out very flavorful and nostalgic from one of the places I used to eat in Delhi during my school days. I tried to fry the cumin seeds and other spices for 5 minutes before putting Rajma to pressure cook. this is just out of habit. I guess it is not needed. Thanks. Look forward to trying other recipes on this website.

  11. Anuja Ameya Nagarkar says

    Dear Dassana,

    Just tried dis recipe and couldn’t stop myself from commenting and thanking you for dis amazing recipe.. Thank you :)

  12. himani sanwal bisht says

    Dear Dassana,
    The rajma dish cooked this way came out really really well. My husband who usually doesn’t like rajma cooked by me, literally licked the plate clean after having it. :) 8-). My mother also used to cook chhole in a similar way. Such a nice recipe and so simple!!!!
    Thanks for sharing. I can make rajma often now. :) :)

  13. preeti says

    Oops! I’ve added garam masala and aamchur masala in the begginning by mistake….will it spoil the taste of rajma???

  14. nirmal kumar says

    this is the best rajma curry recipe i have ever come across.fabulous taste.thank u.

  15. natalie says

    you should really sautee the cumin seed then onion before adding water/cooking. Makes a huge difference in taste.

    • says

      there is a difference in taste if sauteed the cumin and onions. i have also posted a rajma recipe made this way. this particular recipe is my mother in law’s recipe and the way she has been making rajma for years now. i have stayed true to her recipe and not deviated at all. hence no sauting in this recipe.

    • Ashok says

      Really Natalie! One star for not frying the onions and cumins. The thing with Food, is that it can be prepared in many different ways, and still taste nice.

      Dasanna, this recipe is amazing and my kids absolutely loved it!

      • says

        thanks a lot ashok for response. i completely agree with you. there are many ways a recipe can be prepared. in fact this homely rajma recipe is a favorite of our family :-)

    • says

      in this recipe, for 1.5 cups of dried rajma beans,i have added about cups of water overall as everything is being cooked in one pot. but if you just want to cook the rajma and then 4.5 to 5 cups is fine.

    • says

      mukul, first soak the rajma as usual for 8-9 hours. drain them and rinse them with fresh water. then in a huge pot, boil enough water first. add the rajma and salt. cook covered for about 45 to 1 hour or more if required. it takes a long time to cook rajma without a pressure cooker.

  16. Priya says

    Nice collection of recipes, Dassana.
    Should we add the cumin seeds or is that for tadka?

  17. Nidhi says

    Hi thanks for the recipe I m going to cook rajma today however I M Stuck With punjabi garam masala where Do You Get It N If Possible To Make at home

  18. trevilla says

    Tried the rajma… It turned out lovely. Hubby said it was awesome. .. He normally says my rajma tastes bitter. .. ha ha. Thank you Dasna love your bhatura recipe too.

  19. Saifa says

    Thankyou so much… I just love ur recepies, they are so easy to cook n with simple ingredients dishes taste so fab. I dont have mom or mom-in-law n it was difficult for me to cook different kinds of dishes, n my hubby is a total foodie ur recipies have totally helped me they are rocking… Now i share ur recepies with others instead of asking from them. Thankyou once again.

  20. Binny says

    Hey Dassana,
    Sounds yummy and easy. I will try it.
    What if I don’t soak rajmah overnight? can I just use pressure cooker to make them softer?
    Let me know please.

    • says

      its always better to soak the rajma. if you even soak them for 2 to 3 hours in hot water, they take a lot of time to cook even in the pressure cooker. i tried only once and some how did not like the taste too.

  21. kavya says

    Heya…. I do these kinda mistakes most of the time as am a new bee in kitchen… U mentioned not to add amchur n garam masala in cooker but i did… Its cooking now… What actually happens.. How does it effect the recipe… i may not find difference when its done… But would like to know… Pls pls.. Thank you

    • says

      actually if added towards the end, the flavors are pronounced. if added while cooking, especially in a gravy or curry dish, the flavors diminish a bit.

  22. Nazneen says

    Super easy n super yum….
    Life gets easy for busy moms with such great recipes …
    Can I know the calorie count for it if possible ?

  23. Aarthi says

    What a great recipe! I don’t think I will cook rajma any other way again.
    I recently tried cooking chole the same way. Turned out great too. Thanks for such an easy and delicious recipe.

    • says

      welcome aarthi. nice to know that you liked the rajma recipe. yes, the chole can also be cooked the same way. but i have yet to share that recipe in the blog.

  24. says

    Hi Dassana your recipes r so simple and tasty and it can be prepared by anyone even who is going to cook for the first time it is so much detailed thank u so much I was never able to prepare rajma but today first time I made it I just fried the masalas first then added the rajma and gave proper whistles kept for 20 minutes then thickened it after removing the lid and garnished with coriender and served with jeera rice and it was awesome thanks once again.

    • says

      welcome theresa. its such a nice and motivating comment you have shared on new year day. wishing happy new year to you and your family. keep visiting the blog.

  25. Rashmi says

    Hi Dassaana,

    I am glad I came across your blog while searching for easy yet tasty rajma recipe…..it came out delicious…..very very tasty…thnx a ton for such osm recipes….keep up the good work dear…

  26. Padma says

    I tried this yesterday and my daughters who are very fussy about eating just loved it.It is also very easy to prepare. I am now more inspired to try more of your recipes.Thankyou for this wonderful recipe.

  27. Roshni says

    Pls clear 1 of my doubt,actually this is my 1st karva chauth.I m sindi&the person i luv is punjabi so i dnt knw whether in karva chauth we can eat onions&garlic or no,pls do reply.

  28. poonam says

    Hi Dassana

    I tried this rajma recipe using canned red kidney beans and it was aweome! I boiled the beans seperately first for about 20 minutes and then towards the end of the cooking time of the curry, just mashed it a bit with a potato masher!.easy and tasty- will certainly make this again!

  29. Jayashree says

    Hi!! I am planning to try this recipe. Can you tell me how the butter/ghee/oil mentioned in the ingredients list is used in the recipe

  30. shabnam desai says

    miss the pictorial illustration at each step! excellent recipe, have made it several times, thanks!!

    • dassana says

      shabnam, we updated the post with new photos and removed the old step by step photos of rajma recipe.

  31. neha says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I love rajma, but could never get it to taste nice, This recipe is so simple and tastes amazing.

  32. Srinivas says

    Hi Dassana..have asked this qs here before. Pls let me know. When you say – “cover the lid of the pressure cooker and pressure cook the kidney beans for 20-25 minutes”, do we use the weight on top of the cooker and hold for a certain number of whistles? Because I tried without the weight and after 25 minutes, the rajma was as hard as ever…after nearly 10 hours of soaking. Again “pressure cook for 8-10 minutes” – whet does it mean?
    Will appreciate any pointers here. Thanks

    • says

      hi srinivas, wherever i have mentioned about covering the lid of pressure cooker, it is always locking the pressure cooker with the whistle/vent weight on top. if it was not this case, i will specifically mention otherwise. the soaked rajma won’t cook for 25 mins without the vent weight and the whistles. in fact rajma takes a lot of time almost hours to cook like this. in pressure cooking, steam and pressure are created which help in faster cooking of beans and lentils.

      any time when you cook dals or legumes like rajma, chana etc, then add enough water to the legumes. lock the lid to the pressure cooker with the vent weight on top. keep on high or medium flame and then pressure cook – meaning the whistles should blow and for some time. for cooking rajma it can take approx 15 to 25 minutes depending upon the quality of rajma and also if they are properly soaked or not. if even after 20-25 minutes, the rajma has not become soft, then you have to pressure cook more for 5-10 minutes. i hope the rajma masala turned out good inspite of all these hiccups.

  33. Priyanka Nagar says

    Hi Dassana, can you please let me know how much water you added in step 3 of the recipe? should it just cover the food or should be well above? Thanks!

    • says

      hi priyanka, in the recipe details i have mentioned 8-9 cups water as i always add a little extra… sometimes cooking rajma takes a long time. you can add about 6-7 cups of water.

  34. Rituparna says

    Dear Madam
    I was searching for some good photos of Rajma for a Jammu and Kashmir project, while going through this website, I came across your and found it truly awesome. I request you to please allow me to use this photo for my project and give your due permission.
    Waiting for a positive reply.
    Rituparna De
    ritu.de@mapmyindia.co.in

    • says

      hi ritu, you can use this photo, but please give the credit source. if it is an online project, then give a link. for an offline project, please mention the source link.

  35. sweta says

    Loved the recipe…have made rajma many times before…but this is a unique style of preparation…thanks for the recipe :):)

  36. siva chavali says

    I have seen this recipe……the whole taste of Rajma masala comes from finely fried onions….you are not frying onions in this recipe……the taste will not come!!

    • dassana says

      there are many variations of rajma masala and this is how it is made at our place.

      i have never tasted the one that has fried onions, so i cannot comment on that one. but i know this one is really good and it has been liked by friends and family whenever we have made it…. and yes it is tasty… without any fried onions 😉

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