Rajma Masala | Spicy Red Kidney Beans Curry

Spicy rajma masala, the Indian spiced kidney beans curry, is the delicious and nutritious Indian rajma curry to spice up your boring weeknight meal! Plus it is super healthy! 

Rajma MasalaRajma masala or kidney beans curry is quite a popular dish in the Northern part of India and I truly believe that it deserves all the love and attention it gets. But sadly it was not so popular at my home when I was a child, the reason of which is still unknown to me. Rajma or kidney beans is hell of a wonder food – it’s packed with nutrition and loaded with so many kinds of essential vitamins that I could barely cover it all in my small little article. Even if I let alone all the health benefit, these spicy rajma masala is so insanely delish that I see no reason for anyone not being in love with these cute looking legumes.

Spicy rajma masala is the quintessential Indian rajma curry which you will find in any corner of North India. Rajma-chawal is one of the very popular comfort foods there, but I personally prefer it with phulkas or sometimes just on its own topped with chopped crunchy onions and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Rajma is a very satisfying food and these curried rajma masala will keep you full for a very long time as a small portion goes a long way. For that very reason this rajma masala can feed a crowd easily which makes it a great choice for house parties.

Rajma MasalaRajma MasalaWhile penning down this recipe of rajma masala, I also realize that there has been a lot of backlog of posts and I am trying to figure out inside my brain how to cope up! Too much to do in such short time! I really wonder how so many bloggers manage their blogs so well and submit posts so regularly even after handling their professional and personal life! It surely takes quite a bit of effort to be on top of so many things and be accountable for each of them even if you like it or not. I really need to incorporate more efficiency in time management like so many fellow bloggers of mine.

While I contemplate learning new tips and trick on efficient time management, you guys check out this recipe of rajma masala – it is super easy and super fun too! If you happen to have canned kidney beans, then making this rajma masala is just a breeze. But if you use dry i.e. uncooked kidney beans like us, you will need to plan your rajma masala one day ahead as this tough legumes take a long time to soak & soften. Once your rajma is soaked and ready to cook, there is nothing much to keep you away from your comforting bowl of rajma masala. Just some regular Indian aromatics which are typically used for any Indian curry and you reward yourself with a great-tasting dinner to end your busy day on a super soothing note! Enjoy!

Rajma MasalaRajma Masala

Rajma Masala | Spicy Red Kidney Beans Curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4 Servings
  • Rajma/red kidney beans – 1 cup, soaked in room temperature water for at least 8 hours
  • Onions – 4, large, chopped finely
  • Ginger paste – 2 tsp
  • Garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Tomato – 2, large, pureed
  • Green cardamom – 4
  • Black cardamom – 1
  • Cloves – 6 to 8
  • Cinnamon stick – 2 inch
  • Dry red chili – 1
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Red chili powder – 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 3 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Vegetable / mustard oil – 6 tbsp
  • Sugar – ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly coriander leaves to garnish
  1. Cook the rajma/kidney beans in a pressure cooker or in a large saucepan till they are soft but still have a bite in them. If using pressure cooker, then pressure cook the kidney beans with about 4 cups of water & 1 teaspoon of salt on high flame until 5 whistles. Then lower the flame to minimum, let it cook for another 15 minutes and shut the flame off after that. You can also use canned kidney beans which are precooked and completely skip this step.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet. Tip in the dry red chili, green and black cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon stick and sauté for a minute till the oil becomes fragrant.
  3. Add the chopped onions and ginger-garlic paste. Fry until onion turns golden brown and soft. This would take about 15 minutes on medium-low heat.
  4. Next add the tomato puree and sauté until the raw smell of the tomatoes is gone and the oil starts to release.
  5. While the tomatoes are frying, make a smooth paste of the powdered spices – turmeric, coriander, cumin and red chili – with about 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.
  6. Once the tomato puree is nicely sautéed, add the boiled rajma/kidney beans and the spice paste and keep stirring on high heat until oil starts separating from the spices.
  7. Finally add warm water, sugar and salt to taste. Bring the water to full boil. Then cover the wok and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the rajma is completely cooked and slightly mashed when pressed with the back of your wooden spoon.
  8. Adjust the thickness of the gravy as per your liking; you can boil off some excess water to make a thick gravy clinging to the gorgeous red kidney beans. Check and adjust seasoning if needed.
  9. Sprinkle garam masala and freshly chopped coriander leaves. Serve the spicy rajma masala with plain white rice or phulkas with a generous squeeze of lemon juice.


  1. Matt says

    I just cooked this, and it is amazing. I’ve never used either mustard oil or black cardamom. Thank you so much from Brisbane, Australia.

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