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instant pot rajma masala curry (indian kidney beans curry) served in a bowl garnished with coriander leaves with boondi raita and jeera rice on the side with a lime wedge
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4.86 from 7 votes

Rajma Masala (Kidney Beans Curry) - Instant Pot

Punjabi Rajma Masala is a one-pot healthy, protein-rich, vegan and gluten-free recipe made with dry or canned beans and cooked in a spicy, flavorful onion-tomato gravy along with few spices.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, North Indian, Punjabi
Keyword healthy, instant pot, kidney beans curry, one pot, protein-rich, punjabi, rajma recipes, vegetarian
Diet Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 208kcal
Author Bhavana Patil



  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt to taste


Preparing Rajma

  • Soak rajma for at least 4+ hours in hot water or overnight. Then, drain the water and keep it aside.
    step to soak the rajma (red kidney beans) overnight collage

Instant Pot Method

  • Press SAUTE on Instant Pot. Heat oil, add cumin seeds, bay leaf, and let cumin splutter.
  • Next, add onions, ginger-garlic paste, and saute for 3-4 minutes or until onions turn light brown.
    step to saute spices and onions collage
  • Next, add finely chopped tomatoes (or tomato puree), spices like red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or till the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
  • Then add soaked kidney beans (rajma), and water. Stir well.
    step to cook tomatoes with spices collage
  • Close the lid on the pot, and turn the pressure valve to the SEALING position. Set the pot to "BEAN/CHILI" Mode and set the timer to 30 minutes.
  • Once the pot beeps, Do a NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE (NPR).
  • Lastly, remove the lid away from you, add garam masala powder, kasuri methi, lime juice (or amchur powder), and coriander leaves. Mix well.
    Don't worry if the curry is a too liquid consistency. Turn on SAUTE mode again and boil the curry for 5 minutes or until you get the desired consistency. If you want thicker and creamy gravy, you can mash a ladle full of rajma and add them back to the curry.
    instant pot rajma masala with garam masala collage
  • Instant Pot Rajma Masala/Red Kidney Bean Curry recipe is ready, serve hot with pooris, chapatis, roti & parathas.

Stovetop Pressure Cooker:

  • Follow the same steps as above. Just cook the rajma on the stovetop pressure cooker for 2 whistles on high heat, then set the heat to medium-low and cook for another 15-20 minutes.

Stovetop Pot Method:

  • Pressure cook the soaked rajma (kidney beans) with 3 cups of water and a little salt in the traditional stovetop pressure cooker (or Instant Pot).
    Instant Pot: Pressure cook on Manual (High Pressure) for 30 minutes with natural pressure release.
    Stovetop Pressure Cooker: Pressure cook on high heat for 1 whistle and then reduce to low and cook for 15-20 minutes and wait for natural pressure release.
    Note: The cooked rajma beans should be soft and easily mashed when pressed between the finger and thumb. Set aside.
    cook rajma in instant pot pressure cooker collage
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil (or ghee) in a large pan (or dutch oven), add cumin seeds, bay leaf, and let the cumin splutter.
  • Then add onions and saute for 3-4 minutes or until onions turn light brown.
    step to saute onions and spices in oil on the stovetop collage
  • Add minced ginger garlic and saute till the raw smell of the ginger-garlic goes away.
  • Then add 1 cup of finely chopped or pureed tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or till the mixture thickens.
    step to saute ginger garlic and tomato pureee collage
  • Add spices like red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and salt. Mix well. Cook the masala until the oil oozes out from the sides.
  • Then add the cooked kidney beans (rajma), and 1 cup of water. Stir well.
    step to cook spices and add boiled rajma collage
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Mash a few rajma with the back of the ladle or spoon. This makes the curry thick and creamy.
    step to simmer the rajma curry in the pot collage
  • Crush some kasuri methi between your palms and add to the gravy along with garam masala. Mix well.
  • Finally, add lemon juice and add coriander leaves. Mix well.
    step to add garam masala and coriander leaves collage
  • Mash a few rajma with the back of the ladle or spoon. This makes the curry thick and creamy.
    rajma masala curry in the dutch oven garnished with coriander leaves



I have prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO60 6 QT

Tips to Make the Best Rajma

  • Soaking rajma: Soaking legumes like beans is an important step. Soaking beans not only softens the texture, and quickens the cooking process, but it also makes the beans easier to digest by removing phytic acid. If the beans are not cooked well, it can upset the stomach.
  • Cook the rajma till soft & tender: Rajma in any rajma curry should be cooked really soft and tender, which can be easily mashed easily between your fingers.
  • Thick & Creamy Consistency: If you want thicker and creamy gravy, you can mash a ladle full of rajma and add them back to the curry.
  • Restaurant style: Adding some crushed Kasuri methi at the end, enhances the flavor and gives a Restaurant style taste to the dish.
  • Cooked Rajma stock: You can use rajma stock or water to adjust the consistency of the rajma gravy.
  • New Rajma Beans: Make sure to use new and not old rajma beans. The old beans take more time to cook. So make sure to check the packaging date while buying.


  • Canned Kidney Beans: "Pressure Cook/Manual" on High for 6-8 minutes in Instant Pot or 2 whistles if using a stovetop Indian pressure cooker for cooking rajma masala with canned or cooked beans. Adjust water appropriately, as it takes less water to cook canned beans.
  • Canned tomatoes: Canned tomatoes can also be used to replace fresh tomatoes. Use 1 cup of canned tomatoes to replace fresh tomatoes.
  • Tanginess: If you do not have amchur (dry mango powder), then replace it with 1 tablespoon of lime juice.
  • Using Bhuna Masala: You can use ¾ cup of Bhuna Masala (Onion Tomato Masala) in place of the onion, ginger, garlic, and tomato sauce, in this rajma masala recipe. Add the oil and whole spices. Then add the Bhuna Masala and saute for about a minute. Then add the ground spices and follow the same recipe. 
  • Spices: In this recipe, I have used basic Indian spices. You can also use store-bought Rajma Masala, which replaces all the spices in this recipe.  I like the Everest Rajma Masala powder.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.6g | Protein: 11.4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2.1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 16mg | Fiber: 5.5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1350IU | Vitamin C: 44.6mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 4mg