Rajma Masala is creamy , buttery , melt in mouth, , onion tomato based curry with perfect balance of spices. This post shares details and directions on how to make a flavorful restaurant style Rajma Masala at home. Serve this tasty rajma masala with , onions, lemon wedges and steamed rice or Jerra Rice , Saffron rice or any flavorful herbed rice.
Rajma Chawal is one of the most popular recipe from Punjabi cuisine . Along with being a comfort food this kidney bean curry is a wholesome and nutritious meal .
About this recipe
Rajma masala is a daily affair in any Punjabi house, as rajma masala originates from proud Punjab and its their cuisine. Anything homemade is always Big Yes ,if you want to be really healthy.
Though every house hold has their own versions to make rajma chawal, this version is my favorite. Because its simple to make , no much spices and finally the taste it delivers is lip smacking good.
Why opt for any take away or restaurant orders , when you can cook this classic rajma masala , easily at home without any special blend of spices .
You must try this kidney bean curry , because
- It's wholesome
- No fancy ingredients
- Easy to make
- Nutritious and Healthy
Have a glimpse on the ingredients used to make this tasty restaurant style , Punjabi Rajma masala .
Rajma Bean / Kidney Beans - You can use light , dark or any variant of Kidney bean to make this curry . I have used dark bean , you can make it with anything available. Though , I recommend to soak rajma bean but you can use canned beans also.
Whole Spices - Bay leaf , cinnamon , cloves , green cardamom and black cardamom are used to pressure cook along with kidney beans. I have also used Cumin seeds while making the curry.
Onions - Use 2 to 3 medium sized red or white onions as this curry base is made with Onions and Tomatoes. Either you can grate onions or finely chop to make this curry.
Tomatoes - 3-4 , medium sized tomatoes are either finely chopped or pureed to use in this recipe. This is a onion tomato based curry.
Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilies - a coarse paste of this is add to make a any typical Indian curry and it's a must. You can add ginger and garlic paste and use finely chopped green chilies also.
Butter and Mustard Oil - these two fats all together adds so much of aroma to this dish. When you say its Punjabi cuisine , by default Mustard oil and butter takes their places.
Spices and seasoning -This includes basic spices like red chili powder , turmeric powder, coriander powder , garam masala and salt for seasoning.
Other Ingredients -It includes kasuri methi ( dry fenugreek leaves) , Fresh cream and fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
- Nothing works as best as soaking dry Kidney beans for 8-10 hours and then cooking . Though you can cook with canned kidney beans also , for ultimate rajma masala , I strongly recommend soaking beans.
- Adding in whole spices and butter while pressure cooking kidney beans , imparts lots of flavor to cooked beans as well as stock . So , I insist to add whole spices while pressure cooking beans.
- To cut short time , pressure cooking is done. If you can cook in a traditionally way for hours on a wood fire then it's amazing.
- Incase you forget to soak rajma beans overnight , then you can soak rajma beans in a casserole in hot water and cover casserole lid. It gets ready within 3 hours.
You can make rajma masala as No Onion , No Garlic Recipe . Just exclude onions and garlic in this recipe . And add some cashew paste to get thickness and sweetness to the dish.
You can make it Vegan free, just feel free to skip butter and add extra 1 tablespoon of mustard oil.
Can I use canned rajma to make Punjabi rajma masala?
Yes, definitely! Use the liquid along with the canned beans as it makes the curry thick and creamy.
Can I store leftover rajma masala ?
Leftover rajma masala tastes great the following day . Store any left over in a air tight container and refrigerate it. Stays good in fridge for 2-3 days.
Is it freezer friendly?
Rajma Masala freezes well up to 30 days. Store in a freezer friendly container . Before planning to serve thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat to serve again.
Health benefits of Rajma
Rajma / Kidney Beans are known for their extraordinary health benefits ,its nothing short of amazing. Adding it in our diet may prove beneficial for weight loss , lowering the cholesterol and also good for diabetics and heart health.
Rajma/ Kidney beans are fully packed of proteins ,complex carbohydrates , low glycemic index and high quantities of folic acid ,manganese ,fiber and other essential nutrients.
If you go through any healthy site or speak to any nutritionist/ dietician ,and ask for Vegetarian Protein ,Complex Carbohydrates, Fibre Rich, Low GI .... etc, for all those questions, the only answer is include Beans in your diet .
Now here comes Rajma/Kidney beans "King of Beans". So it's a must in our diet . I also recommend you to try my Kidney Bean Salad for it's nutrition and taste it offers.
How to make Rajma Masala
Wash 1 cup rajma/kidney beans thoroughly,3-4 times. Soak rajma with enough water for 8-9 hrs or overnight. Next day, drain all water, rinse well and keep it aside.
In a pressure cooker add soaked rajma , whole spices and 2-3 cups of water, 1 teaspoon butter and ½ teaspoon rock salt.
Pressure cook for 9-10 whistles . Let pressure release on its own kidney beans /rajma should be cooked really well. It should mash easily when pressed between the fingers.
Whilst crush ginger, garlic and green chilies in a mortar and pestle . And make other prep work of finely chop onions and puree tomatoes .
Once pressure releases on its own , remove pressure cooker lid and discard the whole spices and set aside rajma bean and stock.
Heat mustard oil and butter in a kadai/pan . Add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
Now add ginger , garlic and green chilli paste and fry well. Add chopped onions and fry until it turns brown.
When onion turns brown , add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and mix well. saute for 1-2 minutes
Now add tomato puree and cook until water content of tomato dries up completely .
Oil starts to release from edges.
Add cooked rajma beans along with stock.
Add water as required , salt to taste and bring it to boil .
Once it comes to boil ,regulate flame to simmer and cook until it reaches desired consistency.
When it reaches desired consistency , finally end with kasuri methi , fresh cream / butter and coriander leaves .Mix well and serve with steamed rice.
Serve Rajma Masala with steamed rice, Saffron rice, Herbed jeera rice or Roti, Naan or Lachha Paratha.
This post has been updated from the archives, was first published in August 2018
Rajma Masala Restaurant Style
To Pressure Cook
- 1 cup Dry Rajma /Kidney Beans , soaked overnight
- 2 cups Water - for soaking rajma
- 2 inch Cinnamon Sticks
- 4 Clovees
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Green Cardamom pods
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 1 teaspoon Butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
To make Rajma Masala
- 1.5 teaspoon Butter
- 2 tablespoon Mustard Oil
- 2 no's Onions finely Chopped to get 1 Cup
- 1 cup Tomato puree or 3-4 large tomatoes
- 2 no's Green Chillies
- 1 inch Ginger
- 8 Garlic cloves , medium sized
- 1 teaspoon Jeera Seeds
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- ½ teaspoon Red Chilly Powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 tablespoon Kasuri Methi /Dry Fenugreek
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Cream or Butter
- 2 Cups Water - for pressure cooking rajma
- 2 teaspoon Salt or as required
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Coriander leaves
- Wash Rajma 3-4 times ,and soak in enough water for 8-10 hrs or overnight.
- Next Day,drain water completely ,thoroughly rinse rajma ,drain and keep it aside.
- Take pressure cooker,add bay leaf,cinnamon,cloves ,washed rajma,1 tablespoon butter,salt and water. Pressure cook for 9-10 whilstels.
- Whilst prepare ginger , garlic and green chilly paste, chop onions and puree tomatoes.
- Once pressure releases on its own, Discard whole spices and set aside rajma bean and stock
- Heat oil and butter in Kadai , add cumin seeds . Let it crackle
- Add ginger ,garlic and green chilly paste, chopped onions and fry well till onions turns brown in color.
- Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder , coriander powder and garam masala. Mix well everything.
- Add tomato puree and cook until water content of tomato dries up completely and oil starts to release from edges.
- Now, add well cooked rajma and stock together , mix well.
- Add water as required , salt to taste and bring it to boil .
- Once it comes to boil ,regulate flame to simmer and cook until it reaches desired consistency.
- When it reaches desired consistency , add kasuri methi , fresh cream / butter and coriander leaves ,
- Mix well and serve with steamed rice