Rajma Masala
Rajma Masala
5 from 9 votes
Rajma masala is a classic Indian curry made with kidney beans, onions, tomatoes, and spices. A healthy and hearty meal, this recipe is packed with protein and fibre. Serve it with rice for true and authentic desi comfort food.
Rajma Masala

If you’re seeking comfort in a bowl, look no further than Rajma Masala, a quintessential dish hailing from the vibrant culinary landscape of India.

Originating from the northern regions of the country, this recipe encapsulates the rich tapestry of Indian flavors and spices.

With its roots firmly planted in Indian households, Rajma Masala has earned its place as a beloved staple, cherished for its simplicity yet bold flavors.

While it may seem daunting at first glance, fear not, for this recipe is as approachable as it is satisfying. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just dipping your toes into the world of Indian cuisine, Rajma Masala promises a culinary adventure that’s sure to delight your taste buds.

This dish, characterized by its hearty kidney beans simmered in a fragrant tomato-based gravy, offers a symphony of flavors and textures that dance on your palate.

From the earthy undertones of cumin and turmeric to the subtle warmth of garam masala and chilli powder, each ingredient plays a crucial role in elevating the dish to gastronomic heights.

Expert Tip: If you prefer a thicker gravy, mash some of the cooked kidney beans against the side of the pot using a spoon or ladle.


Kidney Beans (Rajma): Kidney beans provide a hearty and nutritious base. Packed with protein and fiber, they lend a satisfying texture to the dish while keeping you full and energized.

Oil: Oil serves as the cooking medium, helping to sauté the onions and tomatoes to perfection. It also adds richness and depth to the dish, enhancing its overall flavor profile.

Onions: Onions form the aromatic foundation of the dish, imparting sweetness and depth of flavor. When cooked down, they release their natural sugars, adding a subtle caramelized note to the dish.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes add a tangy sweetness and vibrant color to the dish. They help create a luscious gravy that coats the kidney beans, infusing them with flavor and moisture.

Salt: Salt is essential for seasoning, balancing the flavors, and enhancing the natural taste of the ingredients.

Turmeric Powder (Haldi): Turmeric powder not only lends a vibrant yellow hue to the dish but also offers a subtle earthy flavor and a host of health benefits.

Chilli Powder: Chilli powder provides a kick of heat, adding warmth and depth to the dish. Adjust the amount according to your preferred spice level.

Garam Masala: Garam masala is a fragrant blend of spices that adds complexity and warmth to the dish. Its aromatic notes elevate the flavors and create a harmonious balance.

Cumin Powder (Jeera): Cumin powder lends a distinctive nutty flavor and aroma to the dish, complementing the other spices and enhancing their depth.

Green Chillies: Green chillies add a fresh, fiery kick to the dish, infusing it with vibrant heat and flavor. Adjust the quantity according to your spice tolerance.

Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Methi): Dried fenugreek leaves impart a unique bitterness and aroma to the dish, enhancing its complexity and depth of flavor.

Coriander: Fresh coriander leaves, also known as cilantro, add a burst of freshness and color to the finished dish. Sprinkle them generously for a vibrant garnish that brightens up the plate.

Expert Tip: For the best flavor, use freshly ground spices whenever possible.

Serving Suggestions

  • Garlic Naan: Pair your piping hot Rajma Masala with freshly baked garlic naan for a match made in culinary heaven. The soft and pillowy naan bread serves as the perfect vehicle for scooping up the rich and flavorful gravy, ensuring every bite is a delight.
  • Boiled Basmati Rice: For a more traditional approach, serve your Rajma Masala alongside fluffy boiled basmati rice. The light and fragrant rice provides a neutral canvas that allows the flavors of the dish to shine, creating a comforting and satisfying meal.
  • Side Salad: Add a refreshing contrast to your meal with a simple side salad of crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy cucumber. A drizzle of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chaat masala will elevate the freshness of the salad and complement the robust flavors of the Rajma Masala.
  • Yogurt Raita: Cool things down with a dollop of creamy yogurt raita on the side. Made with yogurt, grated cucumber, and a touch of cumin powder, this refreshing condiment balances out the heat of the dish and adds a creamy texture that’s simply irresistible.

Expert Tip: Before cooking the kidney beans, it’s best to soak them in water overnight. This helps soften the beans and reduces their cooking time significantly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use canned kidney beans instead of dried ones?

Yes, you can substitute canned kidney beans for dried ones to save time. However, keep in mind that canned beans may have a slightly different texture and flavor compared to dried beans. Be sure to rinse canned beans thoroughly before using them in the recipe to remove any excess sodium or preservatives.

How can I adjust the spice level of the dish?

You can easily adjust the spice level of Rajma Masala according to your preferences. Increase or decrease the amount of chilli powder and green chillies to suit your taste. Remember, you can always start with a smaller amount of spice and add more later if needed.

Can I make Rajma Masala in advance?

Yes, Rajma Masala actually tastes even better when made in advance as the flavors have time to meld together. Simply store the cooled dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving, adding a splash of water if needed to loosen the gravy.

Is Rajma Masala suitable for vegetarians and vegans?

Yes, Rajma Masala is a vegetarian and vegan-friendly dish, making it perfect for those following a plant-based diet. It’s packed full of protein and nutrients from the kidney beans and vegetables, making it a hearty and satisfying meal option.

Can I freeze leftover Rajma Masala?

Yes, you can freeze leftover Rajma Masala for future meals. Allow the dish to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the frozen Rajma Masala overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

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Rajma Masala

Rajma Curry

by Nabeela Kauser
Rajma masala is a classic Indian curry made with kidney beans, onions, tomatoes, and spices. A healthy and hearty meal, this recipe is packed with protein and fibre.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 218 kcal


  • 200 g Kidney Beans Rajma
  • 1.5 litres Water
  • 50 ml Oil
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder Jeera
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves Methi
  • Coriander


  • In a large pot add 1 litre of the water and then bring to a boil.
  • Add the kidney beans and leave to gently simmer for 90 minutes until the kidney beans are softened.
  • In a seperate pan heat up the oil on medium heat until hot.
  • Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until softened.
  • Add the salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala, cumin powder and green chillies and cook the spices for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add a tablespoon of water to ensure that the spices do not burn and to help release the colour of the spices.
  • Add the softened kidney beans and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining 500ml of the water then cook for 15-20 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the fenugreek leaves and coriander.
  • Serve with garlic naan or boiled basmati rice then enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 218kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 6gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.05gSodium: 692mgPotassium: 469mgFibre: 7gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 736IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Cooking, Curry, Food, Gluten-Free, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Recipe, Spicy, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Latest comments (4)

5 stars
It’s a lovely recipe and made it for the first time. However the video and written instructions are different. There is no mention of adding ginger and garlic paste or tomatoes but its written in the ingredients. Then I’m watching the video which uses all the ingredients. But I prefer to read rather than watch a video. I manage to add the tomatoes but not the ginger and garlic. I’m a beginner at cooking as well. The majority of people who look for recipes are beginners. So they won’t know that most pakistani/Indian cooking you need to add garlic and ginger. Especially in the beginning. I have tried other recipes and they are amazing. So thank you for that. But please can you go through the written recipes and double check. Thank you x

Nabeela Kauser

5 stars

Thank you for following my recipes. I have now amended the recipe. I will go through all my recipes and check for any mistakes. 🙂

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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