Rajma (North Indian Kidney Bean Masala Stew)

Nuvita Biscuits

The beans in this classic Punjabi dish can be cooked without a pressure cooker, but allow for an extra hour of cooking time. Serve with flatbread or rice.


  • 1 cup dried kidney beans, soaked overnight
    6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2 red onions (1 minced, 1 thinly sliced)
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1 (½”) piece ginger, finely chopped
    3 green chiles, stemmed
    ½ tsp. ground turmeric
    ½ tsp. hot paprika
    2 tbsp. canola oil
    2 dried chiles
    2 tsp. coriander seeds
    ½ tsp. cumin seeds
    1 stick cinnamon
    1 (15-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
    ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
    1 tsp. garam masala
    1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    Cooked basmati rice, for serving


1. Combine beans, half the garlic, half the minced onion, and salt in a 2-qt. pressure cooker with 2½ cups water. Cover, and cook on high heat until whistle sounds, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes more. Remove from heat, and allow steam to dissipate completely before opening, about 12 minutes. Drain beans, reserving ½ cup cooking water; set aside.

2. Puree remaining garlic, ginger, seranno chiles, turmeric, and paprika with 2 tbsp. water in food processor; set paste aside. Heat oil in a 10″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add chile de arbol, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add remaining minced onion; cook until browned, about 1 minute. Add paste; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook until liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

3. Add tomato mixture, cilantro, garam masala, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and ½ cup water to beans in pressure cooker. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes more. Serve over rice, and garnish with sliced red onion.



Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Chester on Mar 20, 2013

    I have a stainless steel pressure cooker with a copper base. It has always cooked my food beautifully, but the last couple of times I have used it, some of the food has become stuck to the bottom of the pan and burns. Does anyone out there know why this is happening and how or if I can stop it. The temperature is never turned up high, and it is never left cooking for long, I’m at a loss as to why this is happening. Any help would really be appreciated.

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