• Priyanka Prabhakar

Restaurant Style Rajma Masala Recipe

Updated: Nov 8, 2020


Rajma Masala also known as Kidney Beans Curry is one of the most popular North Indian dishes.

What is Rajma?

Rajma is a vegetarian dish, quite famous in the Indian subcontinent, consisting of red kidney beans in a thick gravy prepared with various Indian spices. Rajma is usually served with rice. A serving of 100 gm boiled Rajma beans contains about 140 calories, 5.7 grams of protein, 5.9 grams of fat and 18 grams of carbohydrate. It is healthy and delicious Indian dish.

In North India, we generally use Kashmiri (Red kidney beans), and Chitra rajma. For this recipe we are using Chitra rajma.

Rajma Recipe (This recipe will serve 6-7 people)


  • 2 Cups or 350 gm Rajma

  • 6 Tomato

  • 2 medium size Onion

  • 1 small piece of Ginger (Adrak)

  • Garlic (Or 1/2 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste)

  • Jeera (Cumin seeds)

  • 5-6 Green Chili

  • Oil

  • Coriander leaves

Masala Ingredients

  • Salt (as per taste)

  • 1 tbsp. Jeera (Cumin seeds)

  • 1 tbsp. Lal Mirch (Red Chili Powder)

  • 1 tbsp. Kashmiri Chili Powder (for colour)

  • 1 tbsp. Haldi Powder (Turmeric Powder)

  • Pinch of Kasturi Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves)

  • 3 tbsp. Dhaniya Powder (Coriander Powder)

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Hing (Asafetida)

  • Whole masala ( 3 Badi elaichi, 1 Bada tez patta, 4 Cloves, 9-10 Kali Mirch, 1 small pc. Dal Chini)

How to make Rajma?

Follow this step-by-step recipe to prepare rajma.

  1. Rinse rajma 2-3 times and then soak 2 cup rajma (kidney beans) in 1 Lt. water overnight or for 8-9 hours

  2. Next day, put rajma (along with the same stock-soaked water) in a pressure cooker.

  3. Keep the lid of the cooker open and put it on stove on high flame. Wait till it starts to boil and there is froth like bubbles on top. Take a spatula and throw the froth out. (Tip: Adding normal water to the boiling water helps speed up the process of cooking the rajma)

  4. Add 2 tspn. of salt.

  5. Now take the whole spices (Badi elaichi, tez patta, long, kali mirch, dal chini) and place them on a clean cotton cloth. Wrap them up in the cloth.

  6. Now put this in the cooker with rajma. (Tip: the reason for adding these whole spices in the cloth is so that we can enjoy their flavour while making sure they don't end up in the curry)

  7. Now turn the flame up. On high flame, close the lid of the cooker and wait for the 1st whistle.

  8. After the 1st whistle, turn the flame down to low.

  9. Now pressure cook the rajma for about 15 minutes.

  10. Meanwhile, you can grind the onions in a mixer for a paste like consistency. Take it out in a bowl.

  11. Now grind 2 large tomatoes in the mixer.

  12. Make the ginger garlic paste. (This is optional) (You can view the recipe to make ginger garlic paste here)

  13. When the pressure settles down open the lid. Check if the rajma is cooked or not by eating or pressing a bean with your fingers.

  14. Now take the cotton cloth out of the cooker and dispose of it.

Note: The rajma beans should be completely cooked. If they are not cooked properly, then pressure cook again adding some water if required for some minutes.

Making rajma masala

  1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in kadhai

  2. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds first and let them crackle & get browned

  3. Add 1/2 tsp. Hing.

  4. Now add grinded onions. Sauté them on medium flame. Add 1 Tsp salt immeditately.

  5. You need to sauté onion till they caramelize or are golden brown.

  6. Now add 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste. Stir and sauté for 5 to 10 seconds on a low heat (Optional)

  7. On low flame add dhaniya powder,1 tsp lal mirch, 1 tsp kashmiri mirch. Sauté the masala for 2-3 mins.

  8. Add chopped green chilli and grinded tomatoes on a low heat till the oil starts to surface or starts leaving at the side of the masala. (Keep stirring the mixture so it doesn't get burnt.)

  9. Now our masala is ready.

  10. Add the rajma beans along with the water in which they were cooked.

  11. Mix the masala and rajma well.

  12. On high flame, cover the kadhai and let it come to a boil. (You can open the lid to see if it has started to boil)

  13. You can also mash a few rajma beans with spoon. This helps to thicken the curry.

  14. Cook until the rajma masala thickens slightly.

  15. Continue to simmer until you get a medium consistency in the curry.

  16. Now add 1 teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) for flavour. Mix very well & simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Your restaurant style rajma is now ready.

Serve rajma masala restaurant-style with jeera rice, roti or paratha or naan. The combo of rajma rice or rajma chawal is quite delectable.

While serving you can garnish with some coriander leaves and 1 whole green chilli.

Expert Tips

Why to soak rajma or kidney beans?

It is important to soak the rajma (kidney beans) overnight or for 8 to 9 hours in order for them to cook well. Dried soaked beans are more easy to digest as soaking reduces the phytic acid in them. Soaking also helps cooking rajma much faster.

Which rajma to use?

Always buy rajma beans which are new and not old. Older beans take a lot of time to cook and you don’t get the perfect texture in the rajma. Generally don't buy rajma if they are older than 6 months.


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