Rajma Masala


The last 5 years that I have spent in Delhi have brought me closer to Rajma. While I have always been a die-hard Rajma fan, eating the mini meal of Rajma Chawal on busy afternoons and nights in the Capital has doubled my fondness for the dish. In a way, this dish has become a comfort food for me. Rajma Chawal is something you will find being sold at every one kilometre in Delhi. Personally, though, I prefer Rajma Masala with crisp Lachcha Paranthas and sliced onions. Try it once, and you won’t be able to resist getting hooked! Here’s the typical Punjabi Rajma recipe for you:


250 grams Rajma (red kidney beans)
1 large tomato (pureed)
2 small onions (blended coarsely)
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 bay leaf
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole black cardamoms
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon Rajma Masala powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon kasoori methi powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilly powder
Salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons oil


Soak Rajma overnight. Pressure cook in salted water till the beans are soft and tender. Don’t discard the stock.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon butter in pan and add cumin seeds. Fry till they start turning brown. Add asafoetida, bay leaf, cinnamon sticks and whole black cardamoms. Fry for a minute. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir. Next, add in the onion paste and fry till it turns translucent. Add the pureed tomato and fry till oil separates. Add rajma masala powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, red chilly powder and kasoori methi powder. Mix well. Now add the Rajma stock and bring to a boil. Season with salt. Mix in the Rajma beans and cover the pan with a lid. Cook on low flame for 20 minutes or till the masala mixes well with the Rajma. Remove the lid and discard the bay leaf, cinnamon sticks and cardamoms. Add 1 tablespoon butter and mix well. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with fresh cream and ginger juliennes. Serve hot with Steamed Rice.

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

PS: Please don’t add turmeric powder to the Rajma Masala, as the authentic Punjabi Rajma dish is RED, and not an obscene YELLOW in color!


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