rajma chawal recipe | easy rajma curry for rajma chawal recipe

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 chana masala 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.

few more tasty recipes for you!

rajma chawal recipe

Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:9 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time:45 minutes
Total Time:10 hours
Course:main course
Cuisine:north indian,punjabi
Calories:262kcal
Servings (change the number to scale):4 to 5
4.75 from 40 votes
punjabi rajma chawal recipe - simple and easy one pot punjabi rajma curry or kidney beans curry that goes well with rice or rotis.

INGREDIENTS FOR rajma chawal recipe

(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.

RECIPE TIPS

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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preparation 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

making rajma curry for rajma chawal

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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dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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183 comments/reviews

  1. Love your recipes. This too was a winner.
    I shared this Rajma with my friends over lunch n they all loved it 😍5 stars

  2. Hi Dassana
    Your recipes are excellent and have helped me a lot. You have so many good ideas for new recipes as well. Your traditional recipes are very good too. And how you explain cooking of dishes is brilliant especially with photos. Thank you

    • thank you very much for your lovely feedback. it feels good to know when i get feedback from readers, regarding the explanation, tips and photos of the recipe. thanks again and welcome.

  3. Thanks for this amazing recipe. Do you think it might taste better if I do the tadka with butter and cumin seeds and add it at the end ?

  4. Hi Dassana
    This recipe of yours is amazing. I’ve tried it with not just rajma but also with chana and it comes out really nice.
    And super easy.
    I had one suggestion to make.. on your website interface it’s not very easy to rate your recipes, I had to really hunt the rate recipe part on the page.
    If you put it at the top of the recipes the rating will be more accessible and easy and users will find your recipes faster!
    Thanks5 stars

    • hi shalmali, thank for sharing your review and suggestion. the same curry base can be used for any lentil or veggie. glad that you liked the recipe. i will look into the suggestion regarding recipe rating and see if it can be implemented. thanks again.

  5. I have tried this recipe multiple times, every time my family loves the out come. Thank you5 stars

  6. 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,
    Carina5 stars

    • 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!5 stars

    • 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.

  10. Hi Dassana…am a big fan of your blog and have tried so many recipes of yours. Everything turned out really great! Thanks a lot. And this rajma gravy was a huge hit in my home. Everybody liked it so much.i added a little more butter so it was more creamy, rich and tasty. Thanks a lot for sharing such wonderful recipes. Keep rocking!..☺5 stars

    • thanks a lot sri devi. great to know that rajma masala was liked by everyone. the addition of butter and cream can always be less or more depending on one’s requirement. happy cooking.

  11. This turned out to be Ah-mazing! And I have to admit I was very skeptical about making it, always having cooked rajma in the more regular way. Virtual hugs, Dassana. You are a star.

  12. Hi. What is the measurement if I wanted to use canned kidney beans? (for example 1 or 2 15 oz cans?)

  13. Hi Dassana,
    Thanks for sharing such a simple yet yummy recipie. I tried this today and it came out really well. I wanted Rajma today for my lunch but since I am a working woman,I normally dont have much time to do eloborate cooking. Came across your recipie which was so quick and simple.Infact,I forgot to add garam masala at the end, but still it came out really well.5 stars

    • thanks vini for this feedback on rajma masala. in fact its one of my go to recipes on busy days. even without garam masala, this rajma tastes good. thanks again.

  14. Finally found a recipe for rajma that tastes just like the one on my visits to India… Thank you! I also added 2 tbsp cream at the end… Yum.

  15. never had such tasty rajma before.. thank u so much for the awesome recipe !! turned out really delicious..u deserve 5 outta 5 !!!4 stars

  16. Followed this recipe to a T and I could dish out the yummiest Rajma ever!! Love your easy-to-follow instructions and amazing pictures!! Keep up the good work!

  17. Thanks for this recipe!!! I just made it in South Texas and I LOVE IT!!! I don’t have mango powder or a pressure cooker, but I put the ingredients as written (minus mango powder, plus a tiny bit of coriander) in the slow cooker the night before, and it was great for lunch the next day. Tastes wonderful with Mexican rice!

  18. Hi Dasanna,

    I made this gem a couple of months back for my family and it came out to be just outstanding! It is simple but downright scrumptious. The rajma barely made it to our dinner table because I just couldn’t stop tasting it. Five stars are not enough for this one. Highly recommend it!

    A quick question if I may. I have received a request from my wife to cook this for her friends at a dinner party tomorrow. I need to increase the serving portions and am thinking about using around 280 grams of rajma. Do you think 700ml of water would be enough to pressure cook all the ingredients? Also, should I increase the quantity of the spices by “andaaz” or just follow the quantity mentioned in your recipe?
    Sorry for such a silly question, but am just a bit nervous since I’m still a beginner with Indian cookery…. Anyway, would love to hear your feedback!

    • on the safer side Suraj just double up the proportion of ingredient’s and all the best. don’t worry you would rock and let us know how it was? thanks

  19. Hi Dasanna,

    Awesome recipie.. I would like to know the amount of water to be added and also the time and heat if i am preparing using a slow cooker.

    Thanks,
    Mini

    • thanks mini. i have not used a slow cooker, so i cannot tell you the exact amount of water, time and heat. if you have cooked regularly in slow cooker, then you can use your own experience, discretion and know how with the water, time and heat.

  20. I tried your recipe and it turned out so tasty. My best rajma so far. Thank you for wonderful explanation! Cannot wait to try other recipes.5 stars

  21. Very nice recipe like all other recipes n nice presentations. try them, they turn out very nice. I made motichoor laddoos according to your recipe in diwali as per my kids demand. Every one liked it5 stars

  22. Hi
    I tried this recipe. .actually I make it very often . Must say it’s the best rajma curry I have ever tasted. What’s more, a couple of friends and my hubby who were rajma_haters were turned to rajma-lovers by this curry !!! And I’m recommending this to many .. the best part is no roasting , no tadka and no being in the kitchen for half n hr !!! ???5 stars