Rajma chawal or Rajma curry (kidney beans curry) with steamed basmati rice is a childhood favourite. It is comfort food for me and just writing about it makes my mouth water. While Punjabi rajma masala is the most well known, we in UP cooked it pretty similarly and regularly. This recipe of Punjabi Rajma Masala is straight from my mum's kitchen. I can close my eyes and smell the aromas of the masala intermingling with the heady smell of basmati rice.
How to cook kidney beans
Kidney beans or rajma are easy to find in Indian stores. In Indian homes, the kidney beans are soaked overnight in lots of water after washing them. In the morning, they would double in size and get softer.
I always cook the kidney beans with double the quantity of water and salt in the pressure cooker. If you have soaked your kidney beans overnight, then 3-4 whistles are enough to cook the beans through. The beans must hold their form but easily mash with the back of a ladle once cooked. That is what you are looking for.
Some people add cooking soda to reduce cooking time but I generally avoid it as it may cause bloating for some people.
Once boiled, your kidney beans are ready to cook further with the curry base and spices.
Do follow my tips for the perfect silken Rajma masala curry. It is vegan and keto.
Punjabi Rajma Masala | How to Make Rajma Curry
- 1 cups Rajma or kidney beans
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 2 large onions
- 2 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
- 3 large tomatoes
- 2 green chillies optional
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- 1 tbsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- ½ tsp. amchur dry mango powder
- 1 tsp. cayenne or spicy chilli powder
- salt to taste
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
Preparation of kidney beans
- Soak kidney beans overnight in lots of water. They will double in size by morning.
- Wash them well and cook in a pressure cooker in water that completely covers them. Add salt. Cook for 4-5 whistles till it is well cooked. It must be of slightly mushy consistency. Save the water.
Making curry base
- Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Let them sputter.
- Now add chopped onions and slit green chillies (optional) saute on low heat till light golden. Takes about 10 minutes. Now add ginger garlic paste.
- Cook till the raw smell goes or for about 5-7 minutes. Now add chopped tomatoes.
- Cook together till mushy. Takes another 7-10 minutes.
- Cool and blend in a blender to make a thick curry paste.
- Put it back on the fire. Add garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder and dry mango powder. Add cooked rajma with reserved water.
- Mix well. Lightly crush rajma beans with the back of the ladle to make the gravy creamy. Taste and add salt.
- Cook on low flame for about 10 minutes.
- Rajma masala gravy turns a dark red colour and is silken and creamy in consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
- Serve hot with boiled basmati rice for a gastronomic delight.
This is a truly delicious curry, a staple in North Indian homes. This curry when paired with boiled basmati rice is called Rajma chawal which is a favourite Sunday meal in my family. It makes for a good lunchbox choice as well as this curry is pretty high in protein.
What goes well with rajma chawal?
Rajma chawal is a complete meal that in my family was had with some finely sliced onions and green chillies that were marinated in either lemon juice or vinegar with salt. These crispy sour onions with every bite of rajma chawal were pure bliss.
You could also have curd or yogurt with this meal. I prefer to drink my yogurt at the end of the meal but you could always mix it with this curry and rice.
Do tag #rachnacooks if you make this and share pictures. I would also request you to share a star * rating for the recipe. Thanks