Red kidney beans are called Rajma in Hindi . It is one of the simplest yet tastiest of meals. There is no Indian kid who would not love his moms's Rajma Chawal (rajma rice) as much as his noodles. Rajma recipe or the kidney bean curry is synonymous with mom's kitchen in North India. Serve it with rice and it is a perfect gluten-free meal. You can also have it with tortillas or flatbread.
There is something amazing about such simple meals like dal chawal, khichdi kadhi, chole chawal. Just make one big bowl of rice or bread and you are good. Leftovers taste great even the next day. You must try adzuki beans soup if you love rajma. They are smaller in size and pack a lot of protein too. Another great way of having them is rajma kebabs
How to boil kidney beans?
Soak the kidney beans overnight or 4-5 hrs. Cook /Boil with 3 times the water
Depending on variety, they may need 2-3 whistles in pressure cooker. You may also cook them in a pot with enough water until they are soft.(cook them covered)
Additionally, you may use canned red kidney beans, just drain the excess water and use them.
Top tip: You must always discard the water you use to soak beans. However, you can use the boiled beans water
- Blender ( if using fresh tomatoes for tomato paste)
- Boiled kidney beans
- chopped onions
- tomato paste
- paprika powder
- curry powder
- salt as per taste
- cilantro optional
Read the recipe card for quantities.
Read the below steps to see how to prepare beans gravy .
1. Heat oil in a pot add onions ,ginger with little salt. Let it brown.
2. Deeper the color, tastier the gravy. Let it brown nicely.
3. Now, add the tomato puree to onions and mix well.
4. Add paprika and curry powder.
5. Let it simmer for 8-10 minutes till oil oozes out.
6. Add the boiled beans to the above curry paste.
7. Add water and let it cook on a medium flame until it comes to a boil.Turn off the heat
10. Serve hot with rice.
Store them in an air tight container for 3-4 days in a refrigerator. Serve rajma pulao or with brown rice for a hearty meal.
We have used a basic spice mix with curry powder. You can use the all the different spices instead as listed in our other recipe here for Indian red kidney bean curry or rajma recipe Punjabi style
Lobhia masala (Use the rajma masala recipe and replace the kidney beans with lobia/cowpeas.) You can also make a black bean curry Mexican style for a change. You can also substitute it with boiled chickpeas.
Related easy recipes
Quick rajma masala | easy kidney bean curry recipe
- Pot I used a heavy bottom pot or an enameled casserole
- Blender if using fresh tomatoes for puree instead of can.
- 2-3 tablespoon Oil Or ghee if vegetarian
- 2 medium red onions chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger finely chopped
- 3-4 medium tomatoes pureed
- 1 tablespoon curry powder adjust as per the spiciness of the curry powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika or red chilli powder
- 4 cup boiled red kidney beans (1 cup dried bean yield 3 cups boiled beans) Boil the beans in a pot or cooker until soft, or use canned beans.
- 2 cups water for the gravy
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or fresh coriander for garnish
- Heat oil in a pot and add chopped onions, ginger and little salt to it.
- Cover and cook.Mix well and let it cook until onions turn brown.
- Now, add the tomato puree to onions and mix well. Cook for further 8-10 minutes.
- Add the curry powder, red chilli powder
- Let it simmer for 8-10 minutes till it gains a bright red color and the oil oozes out.
- Add the boiled kidney beans with water to this curry and let it boil for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with rice or bread.
- Garnish with cilantro ,serve with Rice.
It is also a great meal for the next day as it acquires greater flavor by then. The spices used can be adjusted to suit your taste especially the ginger and chillies. The cook time of beans also depends on the age of beans. Beans that are not too old take less time to cook. You may use canned Rajma/kidney beans. Just drain the excess water and use them
Yes, you can make beans without soaking in instant pot,however there are benefits in soaking of beans hence that is recommended over using dried beans directly.
You do not need to separately boil Rajma in instant pot,as in the above recipe, you can add Rajma to the gravy and cook it with the gravy.
Yes, you just need to cook the onion,tomato curry and add the canned Rajma with some water,then cook for some time.
How many whistles for rajma to cook ?
The cook time of Rajma also depends on the age of Rajma.Beans that are not too old take less time to cook.I cook them for atleast 3-4 whistles and check if they are cooked, else cook them more.
Please share your inputs..