Punjabi Rajma Masala (Rajmah Rasmisa)

Rajma Rasmisa, Rajmah Masala
Rajma Rasmisa, Rajmah Masala

Rajma Masala or Rajmah Rasmisa (Red Kidney Beans in Tomato Sauce) is one of those Punjabi dishes that most people love. It is a comfort food, at least my family is concerned. However, we find it quite heavy and make it only occasionally. This weekend was one such occasion. 🙂

Depending on the mood, we make it either the Kashmiri way or the Punjabi way. I have alreadu written about the recipe for the Kashmiri Rajma Masala.

Now I write about the Punjabi version.

Serves: 4

Soaking Time: 8 to 12 Hours

Cooking Time: 90 Minutes


  1. Rajma or Red Kidney Beans – 1 Cup
  2. Onion – 2 Large
  3. Tomato – 2 Large
  4. Green Chillies – 2
  5. Fresh Ginger – 1″ Piece
  6. Garlic – 1 Large Clove
  7. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  8. Coriander Powder – 3/4 tsp
  9. Roasted Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
  10. Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
  11. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  12. Butter or Oil – 1 tbsp
  13. Fresh Cream – 2 tbsp (optional)
  14. Baking Soda – A Large Pinch (optional)
  15. Salt to Taste

Preparing the Rajma

  1. Soak the Rajma in 3 Cups water for at least 8 hours. I soak for upto 12 hours. I also change the water after 6 hours.
  2. Drain the water from the soaked Rajma.
  3. Wash well with cold water.
  4. Add 2 cups of water to the soaked Rajma.
  5. Add a pinch of baking soda, if required.
  6. Pressure cook till the Rajma is tender. The Rajma should get mashed when pressed with a spoon.
  7. Set aside. Do not drain or discard the water.

Preparing the Masala

  1. Peel and chop the onion into fine pieces.
  2. Grind about 1/3 of the onions to a fine paste.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Puree the tomatoes.
  5. Slit the green chillies.
  6. Peel and julienne the ginger.
  7. Crush the garlic.
  8. In a wok or kadhai, heat the butter or oil.
  9. Add the ginger, garlic, and green chillies.
  10. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
  11. Add the onion paste and pieces.
  12. Stir-fry till the raw smell disappears and the onion starts to turns light brown.
  13. Add the tomato puree and stir-fry till the paste starts to turn dry.
  14. Add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, roasted cumin powder, and garam masala.
  15. Mix well.

Putting it All Together

  1. To the masala, add about 1/2 cup water from the cooked rajma.
  2. Add salt.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Simmer for  5 minutes.
  5. With a slotted spoon, remove the rajma from the water and add to the masala.
  6. Add enough of the water in which the rajma was cooked to the masala to get a slightly thin gravy.
  7. Over medium heat, cook covered for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  8. Keep adding water as and when required.
  9. Turn off the heat.
  10. Stir in the cream.
  11. Serve warm with jeera rice, steamed rice, or rotis.

I am taking this North Indian favourite to:


      1. Absolutely I will let you know once I post it, need to buy some kidney beans, I have exams over next few weeks so am very busy but will keep you in mind 🙂
        I think my recipe is super simple, as I remember once my Indian friend made it in front of me and her method was quite complex, but we shall compare 🙂

  1. Whenever i make rajma, the beans remain stuborn/undercooked… I have tried every possible way – be it soaking overnight, pressure cooking with extra few whistles, but nothing helped me. I vowed not to cook rajma. After seeing your post, i am gonna try rajma again with baking soda. Hope the rajma gets cooked and becomes mashable with the addition of baking soda…..

  2. Looks wonderful and filling, something perfect for a winter evening. I’ve never heard of rajma beans, are they hard to find in stores?

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.