Rajma Masala is a onion tomato based Kidney Bean Curry popular in the Northern States of India. This protein packed delicious curry is served with rice and often called as Rajma Chawal.
Sharing the easy Instant Pot method, which requires just one pot, no mess and less dishes to clean.
This popular Punjabi dish is such a comfort food and a perfect meal to enjoy on a weeknight dinner or for Sunday brunch. Rajma tastes even better the next day, so make it on weekend to enjoy it on a busy week day.
This is a vegan rajma masala, but if you are not particular you can certainly use butter or ghee in the recipe. Ghee definitely enhances the taste and flavor of the curry.
Traditionally fresh ground spices are used in the recipe, but a good quality rajma masala powder works just fine. To keep it simple and accessible to every one, I have used the most commonly used Indian spices in the recipe.
Over the years this Punjabi classic dish has gained quite popularity in the other parts of India and around the world.
Indian food in general is popular for its curries and I love making them at home. Some of my favorites are paneer butter masala, tofu curry and pumpkin curry.
This Rajma Masala is
- delcious and comforting
- protein packed and keep you full for long time
- easily made in the instant pot
What are the ingredients needed to make Rajma –
- Rajma ( Red Kidney Beans) – use the dry beans which are not very old.
- Onion and tomato for the gravy
- Ginger & Garlic
- Green Chili
- Spices like turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, good quality garam masala
- you can also skip the garam masala and coriander powder and use store bought rajma masala powder.
- Salt, lemon juice and Coriander leaves
How to to make Punjabi Rajma-
1- Wash the rajma in water and soak it over night or atleast for 8 hours. Drain the water and set a side.
2- Turn on the instant pot and press saute mode. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. saute for ten seconds. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, till onion turns slightly soft.
3- Add the green chili, ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
4- Now add the tomato to the sauteed onions.
5- Cook till the tomato turns soft and mushy, about 3 minutes.
6- Add all the Spices to the onion tomato mixture.
7- Cook till the oil slightly oozes out. It is important to properly cook this onion tomato spice mixture for a good tasting curry.
8- Add the soaked rajma and 3 cups of water.Give a mix and cancel the saute mode.
9- Close the instant pot lid and turn the vent to the sealing position. Press the manual or pressure cooker mode and cook the rajma for 30 minutes in high pressure.
10- Once the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. Add ¼ teaspoon of garam masala and lemon juice.
11- Mix the curry and add adjust the water depending on how thick or thin you prefer the rajma.. You can also mash some of the beans to make it thick. Just keep in mind that the curry thickens as it cools.
12- Serve rajma masala with rice.
Is rajma and kidney bean same?
Yes they are. Rajma is the Indian name for kidney beans
Can I use Canned Kidney Beans?
Yes you can use the canned ones. Just rinse the beans and cook the curry for 7 minutes in the instant pot. Also reduce the water quantity to 1.5 to 2 cups.
Can i freeze Rajma Curry?
You can freeze it for up to a month. Defrost or refrigerate for few hours and re heat in the microwave or in a pan, stirring often. Add some fresh coriander and squeeze some lemon juice before serving.
Tips for making a tasty Rajma Chawal-
- Soaking is the key to making a perfectly cooked rajma curry. It is important to soak the rajma overnight or atleast 8 hours.
- Frying the onion, tomato and masala mixture properly is also key to how the rajma tastes.
- The amount of water and cooking time may be slightly different depending on the quality of the rajma and how long it was soaked.
- Rajma curry thickens as it cools, so keep the gravy semi thick when done. If it’s too thick while serving, add little hot water.
- Though made in the instant pot, this is not a dump and cook method. it is important to cook the onion, tomato and masala mixture till the oil slightly oozes out.
- The ground spices make or break the recipe. Use a good quality garam masala and coriander powder. You can also skip these two and just add rajma masala powder which is easily available in the Indian stores.
Check out my stove top method of cooking rajma masala
More Instant Pot Recipes –
Instant Pot Paneer Butter Masala
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Instant Pot Rajma Masala
- 1 cup dry rajma ( red kidney beans)
- 2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 tomato, diced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 green chili, slit
- 1 tsp teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp oil
- salt to taste
- lemon juice to taste ( skip it if using amchur powder)
- chopped fresh coriander leaves
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ – ¾ tsp chili powder ( I used Kashmiri chili powder which is mild)
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- 1.25 tsp garam masala ( add 1 tsp while cooking and ¼ tsp after pressure cooking)
- ½ tsp amchur powder ( if not available, use lemon juice to get the tang)
Soaking the Rajma-
- Wash the rajma twice with the tap water. Add about 6 cups of water and soak the rajma over night or atleast 8 hours.
- Its important to soak the rajma for that long. Soaking is the key to getting a creamy rajma curry.
- After 8 hours, when you are ready to make the curry, drain the rajma and set a side.
Making Rajma Masala in the Instant Pot –
- Turn on the instant pot and press saute mode. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. Saute for ten seconds. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, till onion turns slightly soft.
- Add the green chili, ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in the tomato and cook till mushy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add all the Spices to the onion tomato mixture and cook till the oil slightly oozes out, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the soaked rajma and 3 cups of water.Give a mix and cancel the saute mode.
- Close the instant pot lid and turn the vent to the sealing position. Press the manual or pressure cooker mode and cook the rajma for 30 minutes in high pressure.
- Once the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of garam masala and amchur powder (can be substituted with lemon juice).Mix the curry and add adjust the water depending on how thick or thin you prefer the rajma.. You can also mash some of the beans to make it thick. Just keep in mind that the curry thickens as it cools.
- Add fresh coriander leaves and Serve rajma masala with rice.
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