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How to make Rajma? (Indian red kidney beans curry)

  • Author: Sheenam
  • Yield: 4 generous servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Learn how to make authentic Indian (punjabi style) rajma or red kidney beans curry with simple spices in a thick onion tomato gravy.



For soaking the Rajma overnight

  • 2 cups rajma (dried red kidney beans) *Note 1
  • 3 1/2 cups water

For cooking/ boiling the rajma in (Indian) pressure cooker

  • 4 peppercorns
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cups water

For preparing the rajma curry


  1. In a large bowl, add the rajma (red kidney beans) and wash at least 3-4 times with water. Add 3 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rajma soak overnight (10+ hours)
  2. To a pressure cooker, add the soaked rajma, cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns and additional 4 cups of water. Let cook until one whistle, then turn the flame to low and let cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the flame and let the pressure release on its own.
  3. Open the cooled down pressure cooker and remove the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and peppercorns.
  4. Add 1 cup of bhuna masala (or homemade Indian curry paste) and additional 1 cup of water.
  5. Cook on medium flame for 15 minutes until the bhuna masala (homemade Indian curry paste) is fully mixed well with the rajma gravy. After 15 minutes, turn off the flame and serve rajma with some plain rice or coconut lemon rice. Enjoy.


  1. Can we use canned beans? yes, it is not traditional, but you can use canned red kidney beans to make rajma masala - no need to soak or pressure cook/ boil as they are already soft - rest recipe remains the same.
  2. This recipe is made using the super-versatile paste: bhuna masala (homemade Indian curry paste). Click here for the step by step recipe. 

Keywords: vegetarian, Indian, kidney beans

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