easy rajma curry recipe with step by step photos – rajma masala or rajma chawal is one of the regulars at any punjabi house. on weekends, rajma chawal or dal makhani or bread pakora or punjabi kadhi pakora is kind of must in any punjabi home.
this quick and easy 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 masala 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 masala curry that goes well with steamed rice or chawal. if you are looking for restaurant version, then you check this recipe link for making rajma recipe.
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. you can check the recipe here – jammu style rajma masala recipe.
punjabi rajma masala is best served with steamed rice. in fact the combo of rajma chawal is quite popular and liked by many people. at home we also have rajma masala with chapatis or phulkas or lachedar paratha. you can also serve rajma masala with bread or cumin rice.
if you are looking for more punjabi recipes then do check:
rajma chawal recipe
ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)
for pressure cooking rajma
- 1 cup rajma (red kidney beans), about 200 grams rajma, soaked overnight in enough water
- 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking
other ingredients for rajma recipe
- 1 green chili, chopped (hari mirch)
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic or 7-8 chopped medium sized garlic (lahsun)
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger or 1 inch chopped ginger (adrak)
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped - about 200 grams tomatoes
- 1 large onion, chopped - about 100 grams onions
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 2 tablespoon butter or oil
- salt as required
how to make rajma chawal recipe
preparation for rajma recipe
- rinse the rajma beans for a couple of times in running water.
- then soak the rajma beans in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.
- the next day or after 8 to 9 hours, drain the soaked water.
- rinse the rajma beans again in fresh clean water. drain them and keep aside.
- chop the veggies - onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies. keep aside.
making punjabi rajma recipe for rajma chawal
- in a pressure cooker add the rajma along with the chopped onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies
- now add the spices - cumin seeds, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt.
- pour water. stir very well.
- add butter or oil. stir again.
- cover tightly and pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame.
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 rajma beans and they should be melt in the mouth without giving you any bite or resistance while eating.
if the rajma beans are still not cooked completely, then add about 1/2 cup more of water and pressure cook again for 5 to 6 whistles.
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.
- keep the cooker on stove top and on a low to medium flame, simmer without lid. stir at intervals.
- when you keep the curry on the stove top, then add dry mango powder. also add garam masala powder.
- 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.
when the consistency of the rajma curry is no longer broth like or water like and thickened. then the rajma masala is ready.
if you want you can thicken the rajma curry 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.
garnishing rajma curry with coriander leaves is optional. serve rajma curry with some steamed rice or with chapatis, parathas or bread. you can also serve rajma curry with jeera rice or garam masala rice or saffron rice.
although you can serve rajma curry with any medium or short grain variety of rice but it taste best with basmati rice.
- first soak the rajma as usual for 8 to 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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how to make rajma curry for rajma chawal
1. soak 1 cup (200 grams) rajma beans in enough water overnight or for 8 to 9 hours.
2. the next day or after 8 to 9 hours, drain the soaked water.
3. rinse the rajma beans again in fresh clean water.
4. drain them and keep aside.
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.
6. in a pressure cooker add the rajma along with the chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies.
7. now add the spices – 1 tsp cumin seeds, ½ tsp red chili powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt.
8. pour 2.5 cups water (625 ml).
9. stir very well.
10. add 2 tbsp butter or oil.
11. stir again.
12. cover tightly and pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame.
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.
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.
15. keep the cooker on stove top without lid and on a low to medium flame to simmer the gravy.
16. when you keep the rajma curry on the stove top, then add 1 tsp dry mango powder (amchur).
17. add about ¾ to 1 tsp garam masala powder.
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.
19. when the consistency of the rajma 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. but if having rajma with rice or chawal then no need to thicken the gravy. lastly check the taste and add more of salt, garam masala, red chili powder or dry mango powder if required.
20. garnishing rajma curry with coriander leaves is optional. serve rajma with some steamed rice or with rotis, parathas or bread.
for making basmati rice you can check this post – how to cook basmati rice in a pot or pan.
tips for making rajma chawal recipe
- make sure that the rajma is soaked well or else it will take a lot of time to cook it.
- 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.
- if while cooking the water reduces, then add some hot water.
- the rajma beans have to be soft and well cooked.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 curry with rice, they also equally go well with chapati, roti or bread. but rajma chawal combo is very famous.