rajma chawal recipe | easy rajma curry for rajma chawal recipe

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punjabi rajma chawal recipe - simple and easy one pot punjabi rajma curry or kidney beans curry that goes well with rice or rotis.

4.59 from 34 votes
total time:
600minutes

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.

rajma curry recipe, rajma chawal recipe

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:

4.59 from 34 votes
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rajma chawal recipe

punjabi rajma chawal recipe - simple and easy one pot punjabi rajma curry or kidney beans curry that goes well with rice or rotis.
course main course
cuisine north indian, punjabi
prep time 9 hours 15 minutes
cook time 45 minutes
total time 10 hours
servings 4 to 5
rough calories per serving 262 kcal
author dassana amit

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

  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.

making punjabi rajma recipe for rajma chawal

  1. in a pressure cooker add the rajma along with the chopped onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies
  2. now add the spices - cumin seeds, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  3. pour water. stir very well.
  4. add butter or oil. stir again.
  5. cover tightly and pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame.
  6. once the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid and check the beans. the rajma has to be cooked completely. 

  7. taste a few rajma beans and they should be melt in the mouth without giving you any bite or resistance while eating. 

  8. 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.

  9. 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. 

  10. so you have to continue to simmer the rajma masala till the curry thickens a bit.

  11. keep the cooker on stove top and on a low to medium flame, simmer without lid. stir at intervals.
  12. when you keep the curry on the stove top, then add dry mango powder. also add garam masala powder.
  13. 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.
  14. when the consistency of the rajma curry is no longer broth like or water like and thickened. then the rajma masala is ready.

  15. if you want you can thicken the rajma curry more, if having with chapatis or phulkas.

  16. lastly check the taste and add more of salt, garam masala, red chili powder or dry mango powder if required.
  17. 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.

  18. although you can serve rajma curry with any medium or short grain variety of rice but it taste best with basmati rice.

recipe notes

if cooking rajma in a pot or pan:
  • 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.

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 rajma 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 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.

rajma recipe, rajma masala recipe

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.

this punjabi rajma curry also goes well with jeera rice or saffron rice or garam masala rice.

punjabi rajma recipe

tips for making rajma chawal 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 curry with rice, they also equally go well with chapati, roti or bread. but rajma chawal combo is very famous.


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173 comments/reviews

  1. Dear Dassana,

    I am normally not a person who writes a lot of comments.
    But in this case I have to!!!
    Thank you very much for this recipe, it is truly amazing.
    As an german with an indian husband I am always looking for authentic home-style recipes.
    Rajma chawal is the absolute favourite dish of my hubby-it reminds him on lazy Delhi sundays, as his mum used to cook Rajma every Sunday for the whole family.
    He loved your recipe an I am more than grateful, that thru your recipe, I have the opportunity to bring him a little bit of his childhood memory back.
    Sometimes a recipe is not just an recipe. Its a feeling. A connection to something.
    Lots of love from Germany,
    Carina

    • thank you carina. i do agree that a recipe is not just a recipe and it is a feeling and connection. food is connected with many memories and we all have them. i can so relate to you. thanks again and i felt really good reading your comment. wish you all the best.

  2. Five Stars! Hi Dassana, I made this for dinner yesterday and it turned out great. My husband loves this dish. I followed your recipe exactly. What a fabulous and healthy curry. We had it with toasted wraps but next time I will make basmati rice to go with it. My husband was delighted. He said it reminded him of growing up in Punjab. Thanks you so much for all the Great recipes. I always come back to your website again and again. I only started cooking Indian food five years ago and I learned everything I know from your website!

    • thanks a lot ruby for this lovely feedback. with steamed rice rajma is awesome. rajma chawal is one of our favorite lunch or dinner on weekeends. your husband is right. the taste of this rajma is like the rajma curry, one gets to taste in punjabi homes. its a family recipe and i am glad that i have shared it. thanks again and wish you all the best.

  3. Hello Dassana,
    Your recipes never fail me, have tried so many of them. The pictures in specific help me make sure that I am right on track and flavours are always on point, just like how it is with this recipe. It is just a simple yet delicious way to cook Rajma. I followed this recipe word by word, the only thing I did on my own was that I added kasuri methi while pressure cooking the Rajma. I feel Kasuri methi just elevates the dish.
    Thanks a ton once again for doing such an amazing work through which newbies like me are getting compliments from everyone.

    • welcome nidhi. glad to know that you like the rajma masala recipe. thanks for sharing your suggestion of kasuri methi. most of the recipes have step by step presentation.

  4. Hi Dassana,

    I want to try out this recipe but i have a smaller pressure cooker than the regular size. How would the measurements of the ingredients change?

    Thanks!

    • neha, you can easily make this rajma masala in a 2 to 3 litre pressure cooker. so need to change any ingredients. just that you can add less water like 2 to 2.25 cups.

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