The Hindi name for kidney beans is “rajma.” But because this scrumptious vegetarian curry is so well-liked, the dish has come to be associated with beans. Rajma refers to both the dish that uses the beans as well as the beans themselves.
This delicious and filling dish is also known as Rajma Masala, which is Hindi meaning “red kidney beans in spiced gravy.” Whatever you want to name it, you’ll like these melt-in-your-mouth rajma beans and the rich, flavorful sauce that goes with them.
varieties of rajma
Let me inform you that the Indian market offers a wide variety of kidney beans. From the deep dark maroon-colored rajma to the attractively streaked bean, the little kidney beans with a white colour, and the unusual black rajma. These beans come in a range of sizes, from small to enormous.
You can use whatever rajma variety you have access to to produce these dishes. However, take careful to cook them thoroughly because the amount of time required depends on the type and variety of beans you use. Additionally, don’t forget to soak them beforehand before you start cooking.
As you can see in the step-by-step pictorial tutorial below, I typically cook rajma recipes using the Chitra Rajma variety. These beans are cream or light pink in colour and have maroon spots or streaks drawn on them.
The term “Chitra” comes from the Hindi word “Chitra,” which denotes a drawing or a picture. Once cooked, these beans—also known as speckled kidney beans—have a lovely soft, melt-in-your-mouth consistency.
Recipe for Restaurant-Style Rajma
This rajma recipe prepares rajma curry in accordance with the conventional (and traditional) way. There is no chance that anything will go wrong with this straightforward and delicious dinner as long as you follow the directions.
The kidney beans are first boiled in this simple rajma dish before being added to a sautéed foundation of spices, onions, and tomatoes. Since they are less expensive than canned rajma beans and allow me to prepare and season them to my preferences, I prefer working with dried rajma beans.
Additionally, I always favour and advise using fresh ingredients for a healthy lifestyle. To save time, you can alternatively make this dish with canned beans.
After adding additional water to the savoury and fragrant masala foundation, it is cooked down to a lovely gravy consistency before being finished with some cream. A restaurant-quality rajma that is rich enough for company can be made by adding cream.
Typically served on the weekends, rajma masala is ideal for a Sunday meal at home. When I prepare this filling recipe, I adhere to the Punjabi aesthetic and skip making any additional sides.
Do you really need anything else when you have rajma (red beans) and rice? Nothing, besides some naan to mop up the surplus gravy!
In fact, feeding beans with rice results in a full protein, which can occasionally be challenging for vegans to obtain. Rajma is therefore not only affordable, tasty, and served with rice, but it’s also quite healthful and healthy. So, now that you are aware of the rajma recipe, a typical Punjabi food, let’s start preparing it, shall we?
Making of Rajma
You may make the greatest rajma recipe ever with the help of my thorough step-by-step instructions. The beans can also easily be prepared in a pan or an Instant Pot even though I have only cooked them in a pressure cooker. The instructions for preparing the beans using each of the three techniques are outlined in the recipe card that follows.
Prepare and Soak Beans
1. Sort dry beans, getting rid of any that are crooked or discoloured. After rinsing a few times, soak 1 cup of rajma (kidney beans) in enough water to completely cover them.
I normally soak them the night before I cook because recommended soaking time is 8 to 9 hours.
2. Discard the soaking water when the beans have been thoroughly soaked. To get rid of any grit that could still be present, drain and rinse the soaked beans several times.
3. Fill a 3 litre pressure cooker with the kidney beans after draining and rinsing them.
4. Stir in between 3.5 and 4 glasses of water. Rajma should be pressure-cooked for 18 to 20 whistles, or for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Prepare the following while the kidney beans are cooking:
chop 1 large onion, diced finely (between 1/4 and 1 cup).
1 cup of finely chopped tomatoes from 2 big tomatoes
Crush the ginger, garlic, and green chilies to produce a paste.
In a mortar-pestle or a small grinder, smash or grind 1 inch of ginger, 5 to 6 small (or 3 to 4 larger) garlic cloves, and 1 to 2 green chilies to a paste.
6. Open the lid when the pressure in the cooker naturally subsides. By chewing or crushing a bean with your fingers, you can determine if the rajma is cooked or not.
The cooked beans have to be mushy and without a bite. Rajma beans need to be fully boiled.
If they are not fully cooked, pressure cook them again for a few minutes, this time adding little water if necessary.
Create Masala Base 7 now. In a different pot, skillet, or kadai, melt 3 tablespoons of butter (or 2 teaspoons butter plus 1 tablespoon oil). Maintain a low or medium-low heat setting.
8. Begin by adding a half teaspoon of cumin seeds and allowing them to toast.
9. Next, incorporate the finely chopped onions.
10. On low to medium heat, stir and start sautéing.
11. Continue stirring the onions while they cook. They will be cooked uniformly and won’t burn thanks to this.
Be careful not to burn the onions because doing so would give the rajma curry a harsh flavour.
12. Browning the onions lightly is also OK.
13. Sauté the onions until they are golden brown and caramelised.
14. Reduce the heat and stir in the minced ginger, garlic, and chilli paste.
15. Stir and cook over low heat for 5 to 10 seconds, or until the raw ginger and garlic scent disappears.
Add the tomato chunks in place of 16.
17. Mix thoroughly.
18. On medium-low to medium heat, sauté the tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are tender.
19. Add each spice powder individually:
1/4 teaspoon of the turmeric powder
12 teaspoon paprika, cayenne pepper, or red chilli powder
1 teaspoon dried coriander
a little amount of asafoetida
one-half teaspoon of garam masala powder.
make aware that many commercial brands of asafoetida process the spice with wheat, so if you must adhere to a gluten-free diet, make sure to find it.
20. Mix thoroughly once more.
21. On a medium-low heat, keep sautéing the entire masala foundation until the fat begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. The onion-tomato masala will start to clump together, thicken, and turn glossy.
22. Remove the rajma beans from their cooking liquid using a slotted spoon or a sieve, then stir them into the masala.
23. For one minute, stir and sauté.
Make 24 of Rajma Masala. To the pan, add 2 cups of the fresh water. You can substitute cooked rajma stock for fresh water if you’d like.
25. When necessary, add salt.
26. Stir the entire combination of rajma curry.
27. Simmer the curry on low to medium heat without a lid for at least 10 to 12 minutes, or until it slightly thickens. Rajma curry shouldn’t be too liquid.
28. Use the back of a spoon to mash a few rajma beans. The rajma gravy is thickened as a result.
29. Keep simmering the curry until it has a medium consistency.
When the rajma masala is cooking, keep periodically stirring.
31. Both the curry’s consistency and the Punjabi rajma masala must be just right—that is, neither too thick nor too thin.
32. When the mixture has reached the proper consistency, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of light cream and 1 teaspoon of crumbled kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves).
Just add 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream if you’re using it. Stir thoroughly, then simmer for 30 to 60 seconds.
Cream is an optional addition that is simple to omit. The addition of cream gives the gravy some richness, giving it a restaurant-style flavour, and counteracts the sharpness from the tomatoes.
33. Switch the heat off.
Serve your finished rajma masala with Roti, paratha, naan, steamed basmati rice, jeera rice, or saffron rice. In North India, rajma and rice, often known as rajma chawal, are quite well known.
When serving, you can add some coriander leaves as a garnish for some flavour and colour.