Rajma Masala 

Rajma Masala, also known as Rajma Chawal (as it normally gets served with rice a.k.a chawal) is a staple in Punjabi households.

Red kidney beans are made into a curry with a lightly spiced onion and tomato gravy, and it is enriched with nutrients such as forate, fibre and protein. Health benefits aside, rajma is very simple and easy to make.

When I first came to university my mother gave me tins upon tins of tinned kidney beans and I cook rajma with these only at university as it saves so much time. At home when I have more time I cook with un-tinned beans in a pressure cooker.This recipe is a tinned kidney version. If you want the pressure cooker version, then do get in contact and I will post it.

Rajma is very popular dish and just like Mac’n’cheese may be comfort food to some, Rajma is comfort food to many ages!

You can never go wrong with rajma. I remember cooking it in the first week of university to impress a new friend and it went down a treat!

Serve a more liquid version with rice or a more chunky version with rotis or parathas.  

Tinned version recipe 

Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 people


  • 2 cans of red kidney beans drained
  • 1/2 can of chopped tomatoes or 3-4 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 2 green chillis
  •  1 large onion chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder – haldi 
  • 1/2 tablespoon red chilli powder – lal mirch 
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon coriander  powder  – daniya powder 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • Daniya to garnish


  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add onions, chillis and ginger garlic paste
  2. When onions are brown add all the spices and salt
  3. Mix for a few minutes and add chopped tomatoes.
  4. Mix this for a few more minutes
  5. Now add both cans of red kidney beans
  6. Add water
  7. Stir this and simmer for about 20 minutes
  8. Keep stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to pot
  9. Add the butter to the broth
  10. Once the consistency of the gravy is not broth like and is thick. Then the rajma is ready
  11. If you want it to be thick, let it cook for a bit more to get a thicker consistency
  12. If you want it to be more watery, add more water
  13. Garnish with daniya
  14. Serve with rice or rotis/parathas

Tips: Keep more water on the side to add whilst cooking if needed 

Add 2 – 3 tablespoons of cream or curd right of the end of cooking when the broth has become a thick gravy, to create a restaurant style rajma masala 


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