rajma masala restaurant style, how to make rajma masala recipe

rajma masala recipe

rajma masala restaurant style – my mom’s way of making this famous punjabi curry. rajma masala is a weekly affair at home and a sunday lunch.

so i make rajma masala in three different ways.

1: easy one pot method of making rajma and my mil’s recipe. this is a very homely soupy rajma & comforting.
2: sauting the onion-tomato masala and then simmering the cooked rajma – the most often used method of making rajma masala
3: this restaurant style rajma masala version similar to the above one, but which includes butter and cream.

so depending on the mood or occasion i cook rajma in either of these three ways. according to me the best accompaniments to rajma is steamed basmati rice and the next comes some hot naan or rotis.

this particular recipe of rajma in restaurant style goes very well with both rice as well as naan…… and when you have rajma and rice, do you need anything else… in my home there are no side dishes made on the day when rajma is cooked. just the melt in the mouth rajma beans in a creamy curry along with rice and you have a comforting meal.

while making rajma, the kidney beans have to be cooked very well. they should melt in your mouth when you bite into them offering no resistance. this is very crucial and the most overlooked aspect of cooking rajma. even in restaurants, the beans have a bite in them and this not only ruins the texture in the dish but also affects your tummy.

so its important to soak the rajma or kidney beans overnight or for 8-9 hours and then cook them really well. also buy beans which are new and not old. the older they are they take a lot of time to cook and we don’t get the perfect texture in the rajma. i always check the packaging date while buying them and i don’t buy rajma if they are older than 6 months.

rajma masala

if you are looking for more punjabi recipes then do check easy dal makhani, dal bukharapunjabi chole masala, lauki koftapaneer tikka masala recipe and restaurant style paneer butter masala.

rajma masala restaurant style recipe below:

4.3 from 18 reviews
rajma masala recipe - restaurant style
rajma masala restaurant style recipe - lightly spiced, creamy and a popular punjabi curry made with kidney beans.
CUISINE: punjabi
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
  • 1 cup rajma or kidney beans (any variety)
  • 1 large onion or pyaaz
  • 2 medium to large tomatoes or tamatar
  • 3-4 garlic + 1 inch ginger + 1 green chili - crushed to a paste in a mortar-pestle
  • 1 tsp coriander powder or dhania powder
  • ¼ to ½ tsp red chili powder or lal mirch powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder or haldi powder
  • a pinch of asafoetida or hing (optional)
  • ¼ tsp to ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds or jeera
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi or dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp oil or 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 to 3 tbsp cream
  • 4 cups water for pressure cooking
  • 1.5 to 2 cups of rajma stock (the water which is used to cook the rajma) or plain water for the gravy or curry
  • salt as required
  1. rinse and soak the rajma or kidney beans in enough water overnight or for 8-9 hours.
  2. next day, discard the water and rinse the beans again in fresh water.
  3. in a pressure cooker, take both the rajma and 4 cups water.
  4. pressure cook on a medium to high flame for 15-20 minutes.
  5. when the rajma is cooking, you can chop the onions, tomatoes etc.
  6. when the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid,
  7. check if the rajma is cooked or not by taking a bite or pressing a bean.
  8. if they are not cooked completely, then pressure cook again adding some water if required for some minutes.
  9. heat oil + butter in another pot or pan. add cumin first and let them crackle & get browned.
  10. then add onions and saute them till they caramelized or golden browned.
  11. take care not to burn them as this will impart bitter tones in the curry.
  12. light browning the onions is also alright.
  13. keep on stirring the onions while sauting them, for uniform cooking and also so that they don't get burnt.
  14. add the ginger-garlic-chili paste. stir and saute for 5-10 seconds on a low flame.
  15. add the tomatoes. saute for 2-3 minutes till the tomatoes become soft.
  16. add all the spice powders one by one - turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, asafoetida/hing and garam masala powder.
  17. stir and saute the whole masala mixture till the fat starts leaving the masala.
  18. use a slotted spoon or a strainer and remove the beans and add them to the masala.
  19. you can also strain the rajma first and keep it aside.
  20. keep the stock also aside. stir and saute for a minute.
  21. take 1.5 to 2 cups from the stock and add to the rajma.
  22. add salt and stir the whole curry mixture.
  23. simmer without a lid for 10-12 minutes or more till the curry thickens slightly. it should not be watery.
  24. mash a few rajma beans with the spoon. this helps to thicken the curry.
  25. when the rajma masala has thickened and comes to the right consistency which is neither too thick nor thin, then add the kasuri methi and cream.
  26. stir & simmer rajma masala for 30 seconds to 1 minute. switch off the fire.
  27. serve rajma masala restaurant style with steamed basmati rice, jeera rice or naan.
1. to make this dish gluten free, omit the asafoetida in the recipe.
2. canned kidney beans can also be used. in this case, just make the curry or sauce first and then add the rajma beans and water.

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.

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  1. Sathya says

    Hi Dassana ! Today I made this rajma with your pressure cooker pulao! It was absolutely delicious! Thanks is not enough for what you are sharing. But we have to make do with thanks as I have no words to express!

  2. Janha says

    I just wished to thank you for posting such wonderful recipes on this blog. Being a student abroad I miss home food incredibly, being a vegetarian and following these ideals are pretty difficult overseas too. But your recipes make cooking so easy and delicious for someone who’s trying cooking for the first time by herself. The Rajma Masala turned out very tasty, I appreciate your putting in a sidenote for how to cook with canned Rajma too. I was hoping to add a suggestion where you could include how to cook without a pressure-cooker too in your recipes as well for those who can’t own pressure-cookers like students? Thank you again!

    • says

      thanks janha. i know how it is when being overseas and you miss so much of your home cooked food. in the recipe notes, i have added on how to cook rajma in a pot or pan . this is not mentioned in all rajma and lentils recipes. but whenever i remember, i add a note. but lets see. i will try to add a post on how to cook beans and lentils in a pan. rajma takes a lot of time and so i always always cook them in a pressure cooker. but i can do such a post with the lentils.

  3. rishabh says

    Crazy recipe. I am basically a 24 y/o guy who just passed out of college and moms the only one who guides me when it comes to Punjabi cooking. I have to stay alone without a family so trust me, its damn tough when it comes to cooking. I always like to cook stuff my way, not like going totally out of league but jus a lil experimentation. This is what i do with my rajma :p
    Trust me, when it comes to cooking, taste buds are what drive u. So, I do it a lil different way. I like the UP style of cooking a lot where in we put the onions and all the solid garam masalas (saving a lil for tadka/frying) in the pressure cooker in the 1st step itself. Plus I hardly make use of garam masalas, want it to be very authentic. I add curd,milk,cream ; together half a cup to bring about a creamy taste after its been pressurized for 15-20 mins to add a creamy texture. I even like to add chopped green chillies too for the pressure cooking in the second stage when I add that cream milk and curd mixture. It does turn out to be epic. An authentic. Try it out, hopefully u guys will like it. :)

    • says

      rishabh, thanks for sharing your version. there are many ways to cook rajma as each family has their own recipes. we found your method interesting. we will surely give a try to your method. if possible then share this method and ingredient quantity in more detail. do try out method also.. it is tried and tested and a good rajma masala recipe.

  4. Radhika says

    Hello :)
    I am 19 and I love cooking. I have tried a lot of dishes from your blog. Thanks to you now my mom lets me cook when guests arrive. And my boyfriend loves what I cook :D
    Thank you :D

  5. Rajashree says

    Thanks for your recipes. I follow almost all your recipes..all turns out very well..I like your step by step instructions, pictorial presentations and very useful tips and alternatives.

  6. brindha sathiskumar says

    Helllo dassana,
    This receipe has come out too good.
    I got to impress my hubby after a long time. The dish had come out bit watery……if I leave it cooking for some more time , the quantity of gravy reduces. This happens with many of my gravy’s. Pls advise.
    And I must definetly say that your dal tadka was awesome….I just loved both cooking n eating it. Thank you

    • says

      welcome brindha. this means you are adding little extra water in the gravies. when it happens then you have to simmer the gravy more so that the water reduces. for rajma or chana, you can mash a few of them so that the gravy thickens.

  7. Fats says

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I made it today (for the first in my life) and it came out so well. I always refer your site when i wanted to cook and every time it’s a hit :-).

  8. mamtha says

    Awesome and simply delicious….. I used find cooking a little difficult..but now I have started loving to cook…all I do is check ur receipes which are simply awesome and end result my husband and my little angel love it too…thanks to you

  9. Tash says

    Helooo dasanna.. I must say u post wonderful lip smacking receipes in your blog.. Just love them.. I have been trying out a lot of them… N they taste extremely yummm!!
    I am a non veggie.. N evrytime I plan on cooking something vegan I check up ur blog n wolaaa no words to say how tastey all d dishes turn out:)

  10. himani sanwal bisht says

    Dear Dassana,
    How do you manage to get such smooth gravies without pureeing onion and tomatoes. In many of your curries like punjabi chhole, kadhai paneer and the one above, you have finely chopped everything and used. However, i have to grind everything especially tomatoes else its peels ruin the experience of dish and the dish comes out a little watery than desired which makes my hubby crib no end :( I have made the above three dishes using your recipes with pureed onion tomato. But I really want to know how can I get smooth gravies with finely chopped ingredients. Using my mixer evertime is simply not pleasing to me :( :(

    • says

      first is the onions and both tomatoes have to chopped finely. secondly they have to sauteed on a low flame stirring often. for onions they have to sauteed till translucent or golden brown as per the recipe. for tomatoes, they have to be sauteed till they soften and when you see oil releasing from the sides. to avoid the peels, i can give you a tip. blanch the tomatoes. that is boil water. then add tomatoes and cook for a minute or two. let them be in water for 20 to 25 mins. then peel them. the peels come out easily after blanching. chop them finely. here you don’t need to make any paste.

  11. Natalie K. says

    I did not grow up with Indian food, but this dish is so comforting! It reminds me if the chili and frijoles de la olla I did eat growing up. Very delicious!!

  12. Dhanya says

    Another hit!!! Hey Dasanna, I also tried your Pav bhaji and Palak Pakora and it came out well. Somehow couldn´t find space to post it in those blogs…..thanks a lot!! Keep up the good work…

  13. Heramb Kulkarni says

    Good recipe… Told very nicely
    I did it for my wife :)… She liked it
    I did it without any cream (she doesn’t liketo put on), still it was delicious.
    I used 100% butter instead of oil
    Thanks! Cheers!

  14. priya says

    Hi,tried ur recipe today nd it was Very nice.my Husband liked It very much.added milk malai instead of Cream.instead Of mashing rajma I grounded in Mixie nd added in gravy to make it thick.went Well with rice.Keep going nd Gud luck!!!

  15. nisha says

    Hai dassana i was not knowng to make rajma masala but yr recpie is so good that my family and frnds liked its very much realy is very delicious thank to u

  16. muneera says

    Hey there a big shout out to u for doing this amazing job. I have tried sooo many recipes and they were all just awesome. I never knew cooking can b this fun n easy. Ur blog really really really helped me sort all my cooking problems. I visit ur blog atleast every other day. Thank u sooo much for making things soo easy.

    Keep up the good work.

  17. Genevieve says

    Thank-you! Such a perfect recipe, it came out delicious! My husband was so happy! Can’ wait to try more dishes…

  18. Shani says

    Thank you so much for this great recipe! I have never been good at making rajma and was nervous to make it for important dinner guests who requested it. This dish was a hit, they loved it & even I think I can make rajma now.

  19. Anu says

    Rajma was one thing which i love so much but it never turned out good. So my husband was never fond of it..It became a thing like once in 3-4 months. But when i found your recipe i tried it and it was so yummy that my husband said that its for first time he liked rajma and in last 15 days i cooked it 3 times and with same yummy taste…Thanx a lot….tried few other recipes from your website and everything turned out perfect….

    Thanx a lot once again

  20. pratish c nair says

    Thank you so much. i love cooking but mainly dals . have been stuck to few of my recipes for the past few years cause u can understand didn’t want to mess up my dinner while trying new stuff, but this is the first time i tried my hand on rajma and it’s perrrrfect..thanks once again.

  21. says

    your recipe is too good
    i try this recipe at my home..and i had great pleasure …it’s such a nice experience to made it…lovely recipe ……
    i think it is good for all persons who don’t know how to cook..all persons are easily make such a great tasty and delicious food by this recipies without any problems or without anybody’s help..

  22. jasmin says


    Have a query.How may whistles should we give to cook.Becoz I tried cooking Rajma before 3 yrs the beans were not that prepared even after 4-6 whistles please suggest the right boiling and soaking process.

    • says

      jasmin, it depends on the quality of rajma. as the rajma gets old they take more time to cook. i personally check the packaging date while purchasing the rajma beans. if you soak the rajma overnight then they cook faster and i strongly suggest you to soak rajma for good taste as well as to cook them faster. on few rare occasions, the rajma has taken more than 11-12 whistles also to cook. so it depends upon the quality.

  23. Sav says

    I made rajmah following your recipe, and it turned out great. My husband who is not a big fan of rajmah enjoyed it too. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe and for creating such a wonderful and helpful blog with great detailed recipes, and awesome photography.
    Keep up the good work !!

  24. Sylvia says

    Having a punjabi bf…your recipes come so handy when cooking meals for him… :p and he is amazed at how I end up cooking such authentic punjabi food ;) thanks a ton

    • says

      welcome sylvia. glad to know that blog is helping you in cooking punjabi food. punjabis love parathas (aloo, gobi, onion, mooli and paneer paratha), rajma, chole, dal makhani, bread pakoras, punjabi kadhi and lassi.

  25. Rose says

    Thanks Dassana Jee the rajma was a great hit at my place… My husband loved It..
    Thanks you for sharing ur recipes to us.. :)

  26. serena says

    Hi Dassana, loved your Rajma masala recipe. It was simply grrrrrrt.
    It was easy to cook and simply delicious and a real hit with my family. Thanks once again.

  27. Deepa says

    Dear Dassana, firstly, I need to confess that I have just fallen for your site. I am not at all fond of these social websites but there is something very genuine and magnetic about your site which has kept me clinging to it for the past 1 hour. I love cooking and I was looking for some good authentic rajma recipe and came across your site. I felt very happy and peaceful reading your candid expressions on religion, caste etc. I am surely going to a regular visitor to your site. Wishing you All the very best in all your future projects. Happy cooking!

    • says

      thanks deepa for these kind words. they are motivating and genuine. its nice to know and hear that the site is good, well designed and is helping the people in cooking. do visit again as you said and feel free to comment or to ask any query. happy cooking.

  28. shruti jain says

    Hi Dassana, I am your secret follower and I love all your recipes. Today I thought its high time I should comment something on your blog. I think your blog is one of the best blogs in India. Just wanted to say thank you because I am getting to learn a lot from your recipes. :)

    • says

      hi rashmi, generally asafoetida or hing is used as a substitute for onion and garlic. so in this recipe since we already adding asafoetida, i would suggest adding a total of 2 generous pinches of asafoetida. you can even go for about 1/4 tsp if you have the powdered form of asafoetida.

  29. pg says

    hi dassana, thanks for your recipes. For folks without a pressure cooker what should be the best way to cook rajma beans.

    • says

      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.

  30. RAJANI MOHAN says

    your all recipes are good. I tried 3-4 items. In Rajma masala, is butter necessary?. Can we use oil only. what is cream mentioned here. where from we get this or can we make it at home? can we use any other things instead of cream?
    Are you published any recipe books of all these your recipes?

    • says

      thanks. you can use oil or ghee instead of butter. the cream here is milk cream. if you live in india, then you can get amul cream in tetra packs for 200 ml and 400 ml. if you live abroad, you can easily get cream in any store. you can also use the malai which floats on top of milk. just beat the malai well before adding it. if you don’t get cream then sjust skip it. the recipe are not published in any book yet, but plan to do so.

  31. Asha says

    Question on the Rajma recipe…it says to pressure cook for 15- 20 minutes. So, this with the whistle on correct? So, just want to make sure I am understanding this correctly…..it will be about 20 whistles or so …..correct?

  32. Valerie Owens says

    Dear Dassana,

    Thank you so much for your cooking website and Pinterest postings. I made this Rajma Masala last night and it was so delicious! My husband said, “please make this regularly!” I wanted to let you know that this also works with canned beans. I just cooked them at the end a little longer so that they would be as soft as you described, and in order to get the gravy consistency, I added water (instead of the bean cooking water) and used an immersion blender to blend up some of the beans. Thank you again for your website!