Rajma masala | vegan kidney bean curry step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
- What is rajma masala
- Benefits of kidney beans
- Raw/dried versus canned kidney beans
- Ingredients to make rajma masala | vegan kidney bean curry
- Tips for making the best rajma masala
- Serving suggestions
- Storing rajma masala
- Rajma masala | vegan kidney bean curry recipe video
- Rajma masala | vegan kidney bean curry step-by-step recipe with photos
- Recipe card
What is rajma masala
Rajma masala is a delicious and flavourful curry made with red kidney beans which is cooked in a luscious onion-tomato base. This popular Punjabi dish tastes best with rice but can be enjoyed with roti too. Rajma-chawal (rajma curry served with steamed white rice) is a classic combination that is loved by all.
Typically, raw kidney beans are soaked overnight, boiled in a pressure cooker, and simmered in an onion-tomato and spices gravy. However, they also taste good if you use canned kidney beans. I use both fresh tomatoes and tomato puree (or passata) here. Fresh tomatoes give it a great taste and tomato puree adds thickness and a nice deep colour to the curry.
Benefits of kidney beans
Kidney beans are a very good plant-based protein source. It is rich in complex carbohydrates and vitamins. They are also rich in fiber and also are a natural diuretic.
Raw/dried versus canned kidney beans
I highly recommend using raw/dried kidney beans to make this curry. Raw kidney beans must be soaked overnight (or for at least 8 hours), the soaking water discarded, and then boiled in a pressure cooker (or instant pot). But if you have not planned ahead for making this curry, you may substitute it with canned kidney beans. Use the canned kidney beans along with all its liquor.
Raw dried kidney beans absorb a lot of water when soaked. Here, I am using 1 ½ cups of dried chickpeas, which gives me around 4 cups of cooked kidney beans. If you are using canned kidney beans, measure 4 cups of kidney beans along with its liquor for this recipe.
Ingredients to make rajma masala | vegan kidney bean curry
Rajma: Or red kidney bean, this is the main ingredient of this dish.
Onions: I use finely chopped red onions to make this curry. Make sure the onions are chopped finely as this will help in making a smooth curry base.
Ginger and garlic: Add lots of ginger and garlic. I prefer to use grated garlic cloves over garlic paste in this dish; however, you may replace it with garlic paste.
Tomatoes: I use tomatoes in two forms – fresh and tomato puree. Fresh tomatoes give it a great taste and tomato puree adds thickness and a deep red colour to the curry.
Spices: I use coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida (hing), and bay leaves.
Kasuri methi: This is dried fenugreek leaves. This is an optional ingredient but I highly recommend using it.
Tips for making the best rajma masala
Use raw/dried kidney beans where possible. Canned kidney beans work well too but I highly recommed using dried ones.
Make sure you soak the rajma long enough and wash the soaked rajma well in running water.
Use the cooking liquor in the curry - this adds a great flavour to the dish. Even if you use canned kidney beans, use the liquor from the can.
Use lots of ginger and garlic. This adds a lot of flavour to the dish.
Mash some rajma when it is simmering in the gravy. This adds a very good thickness to the curry and also makes it creamy.
Like most other curries, this curry tastes better the next day as it soaks up all the flavours from the spices. So make sure to make a large batch.
Rajma masala tastes best with plain steamed rice. You can also pair it with jeera rice. They taste great with any roti/paratha (flatbread) too.
Blitz some curry and use a small amount to spread on your sandwich! This versatile curry tastes delicious just by itself too.
Storing rajma masala
Rajma masala stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to three days. It can also be frozen for up to three months. Make sure you cool the curry completely before storing, and store it as soon as it is cooled. Use an air-tight container if you are storing in the refrigerator and a freezer-safe container if you are storing in the freezer.
Also, it is important to boil the rajma masala well when you reheat it.
You may also soak and boil rajma beforehand and store it in the refrigerator for an easy weekday meal.
This dish is:
– Vegan friendly
– Good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans
– Freezer-friendly. Make a large batch, portion, and freeze it. It can be frozen for up to three months
For more Punjabi recipes, click here.
Rajma masala | vegan kidney bean curry recipe video
Rajma masala | vegan kidney bean curry step-by-step recipe with photos
1. Cook rajma in a pressure cooker until completely done
2. Heat oil and fry onions until golden
3. Add ginger and garlic
4. Add the powdered spices
5. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree
6. Let it cook until the tomatoes are completely done
7. Add the boiled rajma along with its cooking liquor
8. Mix well and let it simmer for 10 minutes
9. Add kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
10. Add garam masala and mix well
11. Mix well
12. Garnish with coriander leaves
Watch rajma masala web story here.