Kidney Beans Curry (Rajma Masala)

by Leena Kohli (@leenakohli)
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time

Kidney beans curry (Rajma masala) is a delicious and nourishing dish many people enjoy in northern India and beyond. The curry has kidney beans, high in protein and fibre, and various aromatic spices that give it a distinct and flavorful taste. Kidney beans curry is a vegan dish often served with roti or rice and is a popular choice for a comforting and satisfying meal.


4 Servings
  • 1cup
    Dried Kidney Beans (Rajma)
  • 1/4cup
    Mustard Oil
  • 1pinch
  • 1
    Black Cardamom
  • 2
    Cinnamon Stick (small pieces)
  • 1
    Bay Leaf
  • 1tbsp
    Ginger (chopped)
  • 4
    Garlic Cloves
  • 1
    Onion (Medium-sized)(roughly chopped)
  • 2
    Green Chilli
  • 1tsp
    Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 2
    Tomatoes (Medium-sized) (ground)
  • 1tsp
    Coriander Powder
  • 1tsp
  • 1/2tsp
    Red Chilli Powder (optional)
  • 1/2tbsp
    Rajma Masala
  • 1tsp
  • 5cup
    Water (divided)
  • 1tbsp
    Kasuri Methi
  • 1tsp
    Garam Masala
  • Green Coriander (for garnishing)


  1. Wash and soak kidney beans (rajma) in 2 cups of water overnight.

  2. Drain the soaking water. Transfer the kidney beans to a pressure cooker and add 2 cups of water to cover them by about 2 inches.

  3. Place the cooker on high flame, close the lid and cook the beans until 3-4 whistles.

  4. Turn off the flame and let the steam release from the cooker.

  5. Transfer the beans and cooking water into a bowl and set aside.

  6. Grind the ginger, garlic, onions and green chillies in a grinder and set aside.

  7. Grind the tomatoes and keep them aside.

  8. Heat the cooker on high heat.

  9. Add mustard oil to the cooker.

  10. Wait until the oil begins to smoke, turn off the fire and allow the oil to cool.

  11. Heat the oil in the cooker for a minute.

  12. Once hot, add asafoetida, black cardamom, cinnamon stick and bay leaf and let them sizzle for a few seconds.

  13. Add ground onion paste and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.

  14. Add kashmiri red chilli powder and cook for another 2-3 minutes until it releases oil.

  15. Add the tomato paste and cook for 3-4 minutes.

  16. Add coriander powder, turmeric, red chilli powder (if using), rajma masala, and salt. Mix and cook for another minute until oil starts to leave the sides of the cooker.

  17. Add only the boiled kidney beans to the cooker. Mix and combine and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  18. Now add the remaining cooked water of the boiled beans to the cooker along with 1 cup water and add kasuri methi and bring to a boil.

  19. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for it to whistle. Lower the heat and cook for about 8-10 minutes.

  20. Once the pressure is released, open the lid, check the seasoning, add gram masala and chopped coriander, and mix.

  21. Let it rest for a few minutes.

  22. Serve hot with rice, roti, or naan.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Soak kidney beans overnight to reduce the cooking time and make them easier to digest.

  2. To make the curry spicier, add more chilli powder or use less chilli powder to make it milder.

  3. Always use ripe red tomatoes for the best flavour.

  4. Cook beans until they are soft but not mushy.

  5. If the curry is too thick, add little water after adding kidney beans to the cooker and bring to a boil.

  6. To store leftovers, cool the curry entirely, transfer it to an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

  7. You can freeze the leftover in a freezer for up to a month.

  8. I have used mustard oil for the recipe, and you can use any vegetable oil.

  9. I have used asafoetida for the recipe, and you can skip it to make this curry gluten-free.

Leena Kohli
Recipe by

Leena Kohli


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