Punjabi Rajma Masala

Days just pass by and i still have my larder full with legumes that are waiting to be cooked.
Today is the Red kidney beans day for us at home. I have been having this ardent desire to cook the wholesome Punjabi Rajma masala from many days. The Red kidney beans as the name suggests, visually resemble the shape of kidney and are red in color. Rajma is an integral part of the cuisine in northern region of India. Both dried and canned kidney beans are available throughout the year. So here comes the recipe!!

1 cup Rajma/Red 

2 medium onions
1 Bay Leaf
1 Black Cardamom
1 green Cardamom
1 green chilly
2 medium tomatoes
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder 
1 tsp Garam masala powder 
1 tsp Kasuri methi
1 tsp Red chilly powder 
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 cup Coriander leaves 
Salt to taste 


Wash rajma under cold running water until the water runs clear. Soak them in water for 6-8 hours or overnight. Discard the water and boil rajma  in a pressure cooker. Fill in water till it is completely immersed. Wait for the 4-5 whistles for it to cook. Ideally, the beans should squish easily between the tongue and the roof of the mouth with little effort. The best is when you see cracks in it. Drain the rajma in a colander and keep the rajma liqueur of it aside for later use.

Take a pan and heat oil in it on medium heat. Add bay leaf, black cardamom and green cardamom. Let it induce the flavors in the oil for a few seconds. Add the finely chopped onions. Saute it till its golden brown in color. Add ginger garlic paste to it, mix it well and let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes, till the hint of rawness disappears. Add the pureed tomatoes to the pan. Let it simmer on low flame.Cook till you see the oil separating at the edges. 

Now add all the dry masalas ( Salt, turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder) to the mixture. Let the masalas cook for some time. Later take a spoonful of rajma and mash it up a bit in the masala. And then put the rest of rajma in it and let it simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.  After this add green chilly, kasuri methi, coriander leaves and garam masala to the mixture and let it cook for 2 minutes. Your Punjabi Rajma masala is ready to serve.

  • If the absence of a pressure cooker, the beans can be cooked in a normal pot. However this would take at least double the time.
Serve hot with: Jeera Rice. white rice or Roti.

Linking this to the Let's Cook: Legumes / Lentils  event hosted by Radhika


  1. Hi Nakhat, Good Day !! Made your Rajma Masala for lunch. It was so good so good that i couldnt stop eating until the dish was Khali. I got linked to your site thru Tickling palates. Thanks for sharing this recipe. A perfect combination with white rice.

    1. Thank you Priya!! I am glad it really tickled your taste buds.


I would love to hear your thoughts on how you fared in your kitchen. I would be glad you took time to do the same. I would, for sure catch up with everyone of you.

If you have a comment or question or just want to say hello, you can also write to me at nakhatsattar@gmail.com

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