Punjabi Rajma Masala is kidney beans slowly cooked with sauteed masala resulting in a thick and creamy gravy. This dish is perfect with white basmati rice.
What is Rajma Masala?
Rajma Masala is kidney beans that are cooked in a tomato-onion masala gravy. This is Punjabi comfort food that goes perfectly with white basmati rice and on those cold or rainy days.
Rajma Masala is healthy, vegan, gluten-free, high in protein and fiber, not to mention delicious and nutritious too.
What kind of Dried Kidney Beans should I use?
For the longest time, I made the mistake of using dried dark kidney beans which is slightly hard. The key to making creamy and soft rajma is to use “light” kidney beans which you can easily find at the Indian grocery store or Amazon.
Can I use Canned Kidney Beans?
Sure, you can. The result will not be the same. Using fresh dried kidney beans will always give you a better texture than canned beans.
Tips on making the Best Rajma Masala
- Finely chop the onions, green chilies, garlic, and ginger.
- Cook the masala nice and slow.
- Tomatoes are the key to making good Rajma Masala – you will need a good amount of tomatoes.
- Mash the kidney beans once fully cooked with the masala – this creates a thicker consistency.
- Let the Rajma Masala sit for 15 minutes so all the flavors can marry together.
Rajma Masala is:
Perfect on Cold Nights
How to make Punjabi Rajma Masala recipe step by step?
1. Soak 1.5 cups kidney beans in 5-6 cups of water overnight or for at least 8 hours.
The next day – drain and rinse well. Add 4 cups of water to the soaked kidney beans. Cook in the Instant Pot on High Pressure for 12 minutes. Let the beans release naturally.
2. Here’s the result. Go ahead and complete the next steps while the kidney beans cook.
3. Finely chop red onions, green chilies, ginger, and garlic.
4. Puree tomatoes using a Nutri-Bullet. This should be roughly 2 cups.
Make Rajma Masala
3. Heat up a dutch oven on medium heat, once hot, add oil, followed by cumin seeds, bay leaf, and black cardamom. Saute for a minute.
4. Add onions, green chilies, ginger, and garlic. Season lightly with salt. Cook down for 5-7 minutes until the onions are slightly brown.
5. Don’t worry if the onions stick to the pan, it’ll all come off. Add the following spices – red chili powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, and coriander powder. Cook for 30 seconds.
6. Immediately add water to avoid the spices from burning. Also, deglaze the bottom of the pan.
7. Cook for a couple of minutes until all the water has evaporated
8. Add the tomato puree. Mix well.
9. Allow the tomatoes to cook for a couple of minutes. Season with a little salt.
10. Cover and cook for 20 minutes on low-medium heat.
11. Your masala is ready.
12. Add all the cooked rajma along with the liquid to the masala mixture.
13. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on low-medium heat.
14. Mash the beans slightly – this will give the rajma a thicker consistency. Turn off the stove.
15. Add amchur (mango powder), dry Kasoori methi, garam masala, and fresh cilantro.
16. Stir. Let the Rajma Masala sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to combine.
Enjoy Rajma Chawal!
More Punjabi Comfort Food!
for the cooked rajma - Instant Pot
- 1 1/2 cups light red dried kidney beans
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups water
for the rajma masala
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 large red onion finely chopped
- 2 inch ginger chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 green chilies chopped
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1/2 cup water to deglaze
- 4 plum tomatoes pureed, roughly 2 cups
- salt to taste
- add cooked rajma
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp Kasoor methi
- 1/2 tsp amchur mango powder