Rajma Masala

Have you heard of rajma chawal ?!! If not let me explain you what it is - it's the red kidney beans cooked with wholesome indian spice powders along with onions and tomato puree, finally topped with heavy cream and dried methi leaves. This is one quick overview of the amazing rajma masala recipe. Chawal means rice in Hindi, rajma masala served with white rice is the best of rice combos from North Indian cuisine and is very popular in those cart walas found in the New york. If you are a vegetarian and happened to eat out from the street food vendors, rajma chawal, kadi pakora, veg biriyani are the most popular among other dishes.


I prefer to have rajma masala with roti and jeera rice as it is a wholesome meal packed with protein and carbohydrates necessary to gear up for the day. What's your choice of food for rajma masala?



1 cup of soaked rajma/red kidney beans
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped or pureed
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder/paprika
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
3/4 tsp cumin powder
salt to taste
3 cups of water for cooking rajma
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp kasuri methi(dried fenugreek leaves)

How to prepare rajma masala:

1. Wash and soak rajma/kidney beans overnight or atleast 8 hours.

2. Pressure cook the soaked rajma dhal for 4-5 whistles on medium flame with 3 cups of water. Drain and store the cooked water. It can be used in making the gravy.

Tip: If the rajma is not cooked enough ( you should be able to mash it with your fingers quite easily), you can cook again for another 1-2 whistles on medium flame.

3. In a pan/kadai, add butter and oil. Then add cumin seeds, bay leaf. Saute for a minute.

4. Add chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies, saute for 2 minutes.

5. Now, add finely chopped onions and saute till they turn light brown.

6. Add pureed tomatoes and cook until the tomato changes its color from raw pink color to slight reddish color. Eventually you will see the oil and butter we added initially to the pan, start to release from the sides of the pan. This indicates the tomato and onion are cooked well.

Tip: You can alternatively add nicely chopped tomatoes instead of the pureed one.

7. Add spice powders, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder and salt. Mix it well.

8. Then add cooked rajma beans along with a cup of drained rajma stock (cooked water).

9. Keep the flame on high and cook for 5-6 minutes.

10. Now add 3 tbsp heavy cream and simmer for another 5 minutes.

11. Finally add kasuri methi and switch off the flame.

12. I would like to have a more thicker and creamier version of this rajma masala and hence i simmered for further 10 minutes and here is what i have got :)

13. Voila! Mouth watering rajma masala is ready.

14. Serve it to your loved ones with white rice, jeera rice or roti. Enjoy!

15. Do try this recipe and share your valuable feedback with us.


Popular Posts