Go Back


Restaurant style rajma masala recipe is a creamy, tangy and spiced curry made with dried kidney beans. This rajma masala is made in a base of onion-tomato masala along with other spices and herbs making it truly delicious. Canned kidney beans can also be used instead.
Prep Time 9 hrs
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 9 hrs 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 231 kcal


For Pressure Cooking Rajma

  • 1 cup rajma (kidney beans) - any variety
  • 3.5 to 4 cups water for pressure cooking
  • enough water for soaking rajma

For Rajma Masala Curry

  • 1 large onion or 150 grams onions or about ¾ to 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3 medium or 2 large tomatoes or 250 grams tomatoes or 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 medium garlic + 1 inch ginger + 1 to 2 green chilies - crushed to a paste in a mortar-pestle or about 1 tablespoon ginger + garlic + green chili paste.
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (ground coriander)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or hot paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) - optional
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 2 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon oil or 3 tablespoon butter
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon cream
  • 1.5 to 2 cups of rajma stock (the water which is used to cook the rajma) or plain water for the curry
  • salt as required


Soaking And Pressure Cooking Rajma

  • Rinse and soak the rajma or kidney beans in enough water overnight or for 8-9 hours.
  • Next day, discard the water and rinse the beans again in fresh water.
  • In a pressure cooker, take both the rajma and 4 cups water.
  • Pressure cook on a medium to high flame for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • When the rajma is cooking, you can chop the onions, tomatoes etc.
  • When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid,
  • Check if the rajma is cooked or not by taking a bite or pressing a bean.
  • If the rajma are not cooked completely, then pressure cook again adding some water if required for some minutes.

Making Rajma Recipe

  • Heat oil + butter in another pot or pan. Add cumin first and let them crackle & get browned.
  • Then add onions and saute them till they caramelized or golden browned.
  • Take care not to burn them as this will impart bitter tones in the curry.
  • Light browning the onions is also alright.
  • Keep on stirring the onions while sauteing them, for uniform cooking and also so that they don't get burnt.
  • Add the ginger-garlic-chili paste. Stir and saute for 5-10 seconds on a low flame.
  • Add the tomatoes. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes till the tomatoes become soft.
  • Add all the spice powders one by one - turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, asafoetida (hing) and garam masala powder.
  • Stir and saute the whole masala mixture till the fat starts leaving the masala.
  • Use a slotted spoon or a strainer and remove the beans and add them to the masala.
  • You can also strain the rajma first and keep it aside.
  • Keep the stock also aside. Stir and saute for a minute.

Cooking Rajma Curry

  • Take 1.5 to 2 cups from the stock and add to the rajma.
  • Add salt and stir the whole curry mixture.
  • Simmer without a lid for 10-12 minutes or more till the curry thickens slightly. It should not be watery.
  • Mash a few rajma beans with the spoon. This helps to thicken the curry.
  • When the rajma masala has thickened and comes to the right consistency which is neither too thick nor thin, then add the kasuri methi and cream.
  • Stir & simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Switch off the fire.
  • Serve rajma masala with steamed basmati rice, jeera rice or naan.


  1. To make this rajma recipe gluten free, omit the asafoetida (hing) in the recipe.
  2. Canned kidney beans can also be used. In this case, just make the curry or sauce first and then add the rajma beans and water.
  3. Its very important to soak the rajma beans overnight. Always use fresh rajma as old rajma takes a long time to cook.
  4. Rajma beans should be cooked very well and have the melt in the mouth texture.
  5. Spices in the rajma curry can be adjusted as per your taste.
If cooking rajma in a pot or pan
  1. First soak the rajma as usual for 8 to 9 hours. Drain them and rinse them with fresh water.
  2. Then in a huge pot, boil enough water first. Add the rajma and salt.
  3. Cook rajma beans covered for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or more if required. It takes a long time to cook rajma without a pressure cooker.
Note that the approximate nutrition info is for 1 serving of rajma without rice or roti or naan.