Red Beans Curry (Rajma)

This recipe is from the kitchen of Mrs. Inder Grewal. It was a pleasure to watch her cook the rajma at her own leisurely pace (watch the video!). I suggest a similar disposition while cooking this. Don't try to hurry it - the final result is well worth the wait. 

Preparation time 10m Difficulty
Cooking time 30m Budget
Serves 4 Published Sunday, 29 September 2013
Recipe type Vegetarian Author Manisha Sharma
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For 4 people ()


  • 250 grams red beans (rajma)
  • 2 onions, medium
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • ginger, small piece
  • 2 tomatoes, medium
  • 2 black cardamom
  • cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon(s) coriander powder
  • 2 cup(s) water (including the water in which the red beans were soaked)
  • 2 tablespoon(s) oil

Red Beans Curry (Rajma) Directions
  1. Wash and soak the red beans in hot water for 2-3 hours or overnight in normal water. Keep aside the water in which the beans were soaked for use later.
  2. Chop the onions. Make a puree of the tomatoes, ginger and garlic.
  3. To hot oil, add the whole spices - black cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Stir for a few seconds till they begin to change colour. This helps infuse the oil with flavours from the spices. Add the chopped onions and cook till it becomes brown in colour but not burnt. Stir continuously to prevent the onions from sticking to the base of the pan. When done, the oil will start to collect on the sides of the pan.
  4. Add the puree. Cook over a medium-high flame, stirring till the oil begins to leave the mixture and the water content of the puree dries.
  5. Scoop out the red beans from the water (in which they were put for soaking) and add to the masala. Cook over a medium-high flame till all the water that inevitably gets added along with the beans dries up. 
  6. Now add red chilli powder to the cooking mixture, followed by turmeric, coriander powder and salt. Give it a good mix. Add 1 cup of the water in which the red beans were soaked and a cup of plain water.  
  7. Cook in a pressure cooker over a high flame. After the first whistle, turn the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.
  8. Check for doneness. If not done, add a little hot water and give it one more whistle. Adjust the consistency of salt and liquid as per your taste.
  9. Serve hot with rice or chapatti.
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