Rajma Masala, Kidney Beans Curry Recipe. Kidney beans or popularly known as, Rajma, is an all time favorite in all northern Indian kitchens. Although Kidney beans did not originate in India, (they were brought from Mexico) once it arrived they became extremely popular. Rajma Masala is prepared with a combination of these beans and unique Indian spices to bring delicious authentic curry to your table.
Rajma Masala is most popularly served with white, steamed rice.
1.5 cups Kidney Beans (light pink and medium size)- soaked in water overnight. You can also use 3 cups of canned kidney beans.
4.5 cups of water. You will also need ½ cup more to be added later on
2 tsp of oil
2 bay leaves
2-3 green cardamom pods
3 pieces of black cardamom
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped ( I prefer using red onion since it's tasteful)
1.5 tsp of ginger-garlic paste
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato sauce (if you do not have tomato sauce, then chop up 1 more tomato)
½ tsp of cumin powder
½ tsp of coriander powder
¼ tsp of red chili powder, or to taste
1/2 tsp amchur powder/mango powder
2 tsp rajma masala powder, if available. This is optional.
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon of ghee or butter
1-inch of ginger, cut into juliennes; this is optional.
1-2 green chili, chopped fine, and as per taste
1 tsp Kasuri methi[dried fenugreek leaves], crushed
2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
- In a large bowl, soak 1.5 cups of Rajma (kidney beans) in enough water for 6-8 hours. It is better if you can soak them overnight.
2. After you have soaked the rajma beans, get a pressure cooker and add the rajma, 4.5 cups water, and salt. Stir and cook it on high for 1 whistle. Then, set the heat to medium, and after 1 more whistle in medium heat, cook it for another 10 minutes. Turn off the stove, and let the pressure release by itself (for about 10-15 minutes or so).
Check if the beans are cooked well. If they are, you can easily press a cooled-down bean between your fingers.
Preparing the Gravy-
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan (I used a pressure cooker since it is simple) on medium heat, and once the oil is hot, add bay leaves, cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick, and black cardamom. Saute it for a minute. Add the cumin seeds and ginger-garlic paste or finely chopped ginger, and cook it until the raw smell goes away. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
2. Add finely chopped onions and cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent.
The mixture will look like this when the onions are cooked.-
3. Now, add the chopped tomato, tomato sauce and mix it well. Cover the pan and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Stir once or twice in between. After 10-12 minutes, the tomatoes will be done when there's no raw smell.
4. Add the cumin powder, Rajma Masala, coriander powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix them properly into the gravy. Cook the spices for 2 minutes or until the oil starts oozing from the sides.
5. Add the boiled/cooked Rajma and mix. Put the same water we used to boil the Rajma in, and add 1/2 cup extra water. Cover the cooker, and cook the Rajma curry for 1 whistle in medium heat and when that is done, switch off the flame. After 15 minutes, the pressure should be released, and the curry will start to thicken. You can adjust the consistency to your preference using water.
6. Add Garam Masala and crushed Kasuri Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves). Mix this mixture for a minute in a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee or oil. Once it's hot, add the ginger julienne and chopped green chili. Saute it for 1-2 minutes until they turn light brown in color. Transfer the tempering to the Rajma Masala. In the end, add chopped cilantro leaves as a garnish.
Serve hot with rice, Chapati, or Naan bread. Enjoy your delicious Rajma!