Rajma Masala: An Indian take on red kidney beans

Anyone whose anyone knows a North Indian’s (esp. Delhi) love for Rajma. One does not qualify to be called a true Delhiite if you can’t proclaim your love for it.. and how I achieved the same was by naming one of my email ID’s after it.

cooking with Rajma

This diwali my initial plan was to make Kadhi Paroka (another one of my fav) but my brother made a special request for rajma so ked kidney beans it had to be.

This easy take on the recipe is actually pretty quick to do and you can do a lot of preparations a day before. Here goes Rajma Masala


  • 300g red kidney beans, rajma
  • 1.6 lt water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black salt
  • 2 green chillies; chopped
  • 1″ ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium Red Onion; finely chopped
  • 4 ripe tomatoes; peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • fresh coriander; handful
  • 5 cloves
  • 4 whole black pepper
  • 1/4 ” cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom (badi eliachi)
  • 1/2 tsp powdered cumin
  • 1 tsp dried coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp refined oil


Wash the rajma throughly and soak it in 1.8 lt of water with salt  over night or if pressed for time in hot water for at least 6 hours. Pressure cook the kidney beans on a high flame and after the first whistle, simmer to a low flame and let the rajma cook for 1.25 hours. Switch off the flame after that and let the kidney beans stand for at least 30 minutes before opening the pressure cooker.

In a mortar and pestle crush the ginger, garlic and green chillies to form a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a wok and add this paste and sautee for a minutes till just lightly golden brown and take outside.

Add all the spices, except fpr garam masala and let them splutter. Add the onions and sautee till soft. Add the tomatoes, fresh coriander and the garlic paste. Cover and it it cool on a medium/ low flame. Check and stir occasionally so that the masala does not burn. Fry the tomatoes till them start to let out oil. This is an indication that the tomatoes are fried thoroughly.

To this mixture add the cooked kidney beans and black salt and stir well. Check for seasoning and if more salt is required add white salt.

Cover and let this cook for 15-20 minutes till the rajma s smooth. Sprinkle in the garam masala and mix well.

Serve hot with fresh rotis or a steamed bowl of rice.


  1. The description is really mouth watering and the picture is really inviting. I now need to have rajma chawal. The photograph just adds to the appeal and the crave quotient.

  2. sabjimata · · Reply

    No sugar in your rajma? I guess that confirms me as a sugar addict. Your recipe looks tasty.

  3. Thanks everyone 🙂

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