Rajma Curry Recipe or Rajma Masala Curry recipe is quick and easy to follow recipe. Rajma aka as Kidney Beans comes in many different varieties and is quite often used in many popular dishes across the world.
This popular Rajma dish is very easy to prepare and usually forms a part of weekend meals or special occasions in Indian households.
You can easily understand Rajma curry popularity in India especially Northern parts of India by the fact that it is listed in all big and small hotels or restaurants menu.
It is usually served with Steamed Basmati rice however you can compliment it with Jeera rice or plain paratha.
Rajma curry is a staple food in Northern parts of India since it is easy to prepare, fulfilling and tasty dish.
Rajma aka Kidney Beans is very high in Protein, Magnesium and dietary fibers. The exact nutritional content may vary based on variety of Rajma or Kidney Beans.
100 gm of Rajma aka Kidney Beans contain ~24 gm Protein, 25 gm Dietary Fibre. Due to high Protein content it is considered a healthy option for people on vegetarian diet. Due to high fibre content you can also include Rajma (Kidney Beans) as part of your regular diet. As it does not require any special spices (though it is good to have a few) you will find many street shops selling Rajma Curry with steamed basmati rice. Street vendors call this dish – Rajma Chawal or Rajma Rice.
To prepare the dish you would first need to soak Rajma before cooking else it will take lot of time to cook. We recommend you to wash Rajma and soak it for few hours before you plan to cook. Refer recipe card and detailed steps on how to make Rajma Curry.
Making Rajma Curry or Kidney Beans Curry
In this section we will describe different steps which you would need to take while preparing Rajma Curry. At different milestones we have included pictures so you can refer them and check if you are right on track.
Prerequisite – Why and How to Soak Rajma?
Unlike other lentils, Rajma seeds are very hard and takes lot of time to cook. The seeds are so hard that if you directly add them without soaking then even after 6 whistles the seeds may not be soft enough to eat. Due to this, it is advised that Rajma or Kidney beans are soaked well in advance.
Since there are different varieties of Rajma available in the market, the amount of water and time to soak may vary. The time required to soak should be anything between 3 – 6 hours. We recommend using Chitra Rajma (speckled Kidney Beans) since it is good in taste but you can always prefer your choice. Soak Rajma such that all seeds are submerged completely under water. After soaking Rajma for long hours the size of the seeds will grow double.
Preparation – Boiling or Pressure cooking Rajma
Once the Rajma seeds have been soaked for 3 – 4 hours, you are ready to boil them to soften further. Drain water from soaked seeds and add the seeds to pressure cooker. Now you must add 4 cups of water and add 1/2 tsp Salt to it. Salt it added at this stage so it can be soaked well into the Rajma seeds while it is boiling.
Close the pressure cooker and take 2 whistles on high and 3 whistles on low flame. Once done, turn off the gas and let the pressure gradually release by itself. This is crucial as releasing pressure too early will leave the seeds hard. Once all the pressure is released open the pressure cooker and randomly select few seeds to check if Rajma is soft enough for consumption.
Press these randomly selected seeds and if they get pressed easily then Rajma is ready to move on to the next stage. Do not drain excess water since we will use it later.
Tips & Tricks – Just in case you are in a hurry and may not have the time to soak Rajma beforehand then don’t worry we have a tip for you –
“Just add a pinch of edible Baking Soda (Meetha Soda) while Pressure cooking Rajma (Kidney Beans).”
Prerequisite for gravy preparation
While the Rajma is being pressure cooked, you can chop onions, tomatoes, green chillies and also grate ginger and garlic to create a paste. Some people prefer long dices of ginger and garlic to get the feel of these spices while eating however since this is a matter of personal choice we leave it to your discretion. You may also use tomato puree in place of chopped tomatoes.
Once, the boiled Rajma is ready you can start move onto the next section and start preparing gravy in a deep pot or large frying pan. There are some optional spices which we have mentioned in the recipe card and though they are not critical in preparing this dish but if you add these then you get much enhanced flavour.
Preparing Rajma Curry Gravy
Take Clarified Butter in the pot and turn on the gas. Add Asafetida, Bay leaves, Cumin seeds, Whole Red Chilli, Crushed Star Aniseed, Black Cardamom and cloves and roast them. Once the Cumin seeds start turning brown add chopped onions and stir using Spatula. Keep stirring the mixture until the onions turn golden brown in colour.
Add chopped tomatoes, green chillies and garlic-ginger paste to the mixture and stir it. After a couple of minutes add Turmeric, Red Chilli powder, Salt, Coriander powder, Cinnamon powder and Garam Masala to the mixture. Keep stirring the paste and add little water in case the paste becomes too dry and starts to stick. Don’t add too much water or else the spices will not cook properly. You should always try to cook spices properly else the taste may differ and you may start feeling raw spices taste while eating.
Keep stirring the gravy for another minute or two. You may start feeling the aroma of spices which means your gravy is well cooked. Simmer the gas flame and add boiled Rajma along with water used to boil it to the gravy. Stir the curry so that Rajma and gravy mix properly. You can turn up the flame to high/medium or let Rajma curry cook slowly for another few minutes. Let Rajma curry cook for 5 – 10 mins in medium flame or slightly more if on low flame. Add some more water if required. You can mash some Rajma seeds which will thicken the curry and give Rajma curry its texture.
Tips & Tricks – To make Rajma curry thicker, you can also add 1/4 cup fresh cream when you are adding boiled Rajma to the gravy. This may make your curry a bit sweet but you may like this new taste.
Serving Rajma Curry
Your Rajma curry is ready to be served with Steamed Basmati Rice or Plain Paratha. Before serving garnish the curry with some finely chopped Coriander leaves and top it with a tea spoon of Clarified butter for added flavour.
Chef Recommendation for Rajma Curry
- We recommend using Chitra Rajma for better taste and texture.
- We recommend Rajma Curry to be served with Basmati Rice or Paratha for a tasty meal.
Discover more recipes
And that is not all folks! Shall we take this opportunity to invite you to discover more tasty and yummy recipes in our food wonderland.
- Check more such tasty main course recipes in our Recipes section.
- How about trying these similar recipes –
- Did you check our Dessert section for some sweet delicacies.
Rajma Curry Recipe
Main Ingredients for Rajma Curry
- 1/2 cup Kidney Beans Rajma, preferably Chitra Rajma
- 1/2 cup Onion Pyaaz
- 1/2 cup tomatoes Tamatar
- 10 g Green Chillies Hari Mirch
- 2 Garlic Clove Lahsun
- 1 inch Ginger Adarak
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds Jeera
- 1 pinch of Asafotedia Hing
- 1/2 tsp Salt Namak – As per taste
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder Lal Mirch Powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder Haldi Powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder Dhaniya powder
- 1/2 tbsp Garam Masala
- 1 piece Cloves Laung
- 2 tbsp Clarified Butter Ghee to cook
Optional Ingredients for Rajma Curry
- 2 Bay leaves Tej Patta
- 1/2 tsp Crushed Star Aniseed Chakra Phool
- 1/2 tsp Crushed Black Cardamom Badi Elaichi
- 2 Whole Dried Red Chillies Khadi Lal Mirch
- 1/8 Cinnamon Powder Dalchini Powder
- Few Coriander leaves for garnishing
Preparation Steps to make Rajma Curry
- Soak Kidney beans or Rajma in 5 cups of water for 3 – 4 hrs before you start preparing the dish.1/2 cup Kidney Beans
- Drain excess water and take soaked Rajma in a pressure cooker. Add 4 cups of water and add 1/2 tsp Salt to it. Take 2 whistles on high and 3 whistles on low flame. Once, it is done turn off the gas and let the pressure gradually release itself. Remember, Kidney Beans take longer to cook so add sufficient water.
- Meanwhile, finely chop onions, tomatoes and green chillies. Also, grate ginger and garlic to create a paste.1/2 cup Onion, 1/2 cup tomatoes, 10 g Green Chillies, 2 Garlic Clove, 1 inch Ginger
How to make Rajma Curry
- Once, the boiled Rajma is ready you can start preparing gravy in a deep pot. Add Clarified Butter in the pot and add Asafetida, Bay leaves, Cumin seeds, Whole Red Chili, Crushed Star Aniseed, Black Cardamom and cloves.1/2 cup Kidney Beans, 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds, 1 piece Cloves, 2 tbsp Clarified Butter, 2 Bay leaves, 1/2 tsp Crushed Star Aniseed, 1/2 tsp Crushed Black Cardamom, 2 Whole Dried Red Chillies, 1 pinch of Asafotedia
- Once the Cumin seeds turn brown add onions. Keep stirring the mixture using a Spatula until the onions turn golden brown in color.1/2 cup Onion
- Now add chopped tomatoes, green chilies and garlic-ginger paste to it. Also, add Turmeric, Red Chili powder, Salt, Coriander powder, Cinnamon powder and Garam Masala.1/2 cup tomatoes, 10 g Green Chillies, 2 Garlic Clove, 1 inch Ginger, 1/2 tsp Salt, 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder, 1 tsp Turmeric powder, 1 tsp Coriander powder, 1/8 Cinnamon Powder, 1/2 tbsp Garam Masala
- Keep stirring the paste as you add these ingredients. Add little water in case the paste becomes too dry and starts to stick. Don’t add too much water or else the spices will not cook properly.
- Keep stirring the gravy for another minute or two and add boiled Rajma along with water used to boil it. Now let Rajma curry cook for 5 – 10 mins in medium flame and add some water if required.1/2 cup Kidney Beans
- You are ready to serve Rajma Curry with steamed Basmati Rice after garnishing it with some Coriander leaves.Few Coriander leaves
- If you would like to enhance the flavour add a tsp of Clarified Butter while serving.