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Kidney Beans Stew / Rajma Masala – Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

Rajma Masala / Kidney Beans Stew is a very popular kidney beans recipe from Indian Cuisine. This Rajma Masala recipe is highly nutritious, yummy and an easy one pot meal. An excellent protein rich diet for vegetarians. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.

 

What is Rajma Masala?

Rajma Masala is a very popular North Indian dish. This is a very simple and a delicious one pot meal which is made in most of the Indian homes on regular basis. This is a onion-tomato based dish, with some Indian spices, cooked until the kidney beans are soft, somewhat similar to a stew. Typically, Rajma Masala is served over steamed white rice (Chawal) and some onion salad, but you can also have this dish with some Indian bread/roti or naan. I like to serve Rajma masala with some steamed Basmati Rice, some homemade yogurt and some salad!

 

 

How to make Rajma Masala in Instant Pot?

Preparing this Rajma Masala is very easy, the only preparation involved in this recipe is the soaking time. I prefer soaking kidney beans / rajma overnight or minimum of 4 hours. I believe soaking the kidney beans not only reduces the cooking time but also enhances the flavors. There are couple of ways you can make this Rajma Masala, kidney beans/rajma can be boiled first and then slow cooked in onion, tomato gravy or you can make it as a one pot, which is what I am going to do today. There are mainly two types of kidney beans / rajma available in Indian grocery stores, light kidney beans or dark kidney beans. I am using light kidney beans for this recipe.

In India, pressure cooker is used to cook the beans. I remember my mom always used a pressure cooker to cook beans. It is so easy and convenient to cook beans in a pressure cooker. I love to cook beans in Instant Pot, it is so convenient. 

Let’s go through the step by step recipe to cook Rajma Masala in the instant pot.

  1. Drain the water from the kidney beans, rinse and keep it aside.
  2. Make onion paste. Keep it aside.
  3. Make tomato puree, keep it aside.
  4. I prefer onion paste, it gives nice texture to the gravy. But you can use chopped onions, tomatoes for this recipe as well. If using onion paste, cook the paste properly. 
  5. Turn on Instant Pot to saute mode (high), add oil, cumin seeds, onion-ginger-garlic paste, add ½ TSP of salt. Saute for few mins, or until all the moisture from the paste has evaporated. This will take around 5-7 mins.
  6. Now, add tomato puree, dry spices, saute for 3-5 min, or until oil separates from the tomato puree.
  7. Add rinsed kidney beans and fresh water, salt to taste.
  8. Optional: Place a trivet. In a insert (bowl) add all the ingredients for brown rice and place the insert on the trivet. Close the lid with vent on sealing position.
  9. Turn on Instant Pot to Bean/Chili mode for 30 min. Let pressure release naturally.
  10. Adjust the consistency of the gravy, if desired add more water. Add lemon juice and fresh coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice.

 

 

How to make Rajma Masala in Stove Top Pressure Cooker?

Follow the recipe as discussed earlier. Close the pressure cooker, after the first whistle, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 mins. Let pressure release naturally. Adjust the consistency of the gravy, if desired add more water. Add lemon juice and fresh coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Soaking kidney beans prior to cooking

I prefer to soak kidney beans overnight or minimum of 4 hours prior to cooking. Soaking the beans not only reduces the cooking time but it also enhances the taste and flavor of Rajma Masala. I remember my mom always use to soak beans for good reasons prior to cooking.

Soaking beans before cooking helps to break down some of the complex sugars that can make beans hard for some people to digest. Soaking the beans prior to cooking also reduces cooking times.

Soaking the beans also cleans them more thoroughly (since beans cannot be washed before being sold or they can turn moldy). Soak beans in enough water overnight or for few hours, discard the water the beans are soaked in, and rinse the beans thoroughly before cooking.
Cooking beans can be very tricky at times. Depending upon the quality of the beans, if it is aged (old), it might take longer to cook even though it is soaked overnight. 

 

 

Forgot to soak beans, can I still make Rajma?

Yes, absolutely you can. Soak the beans in hot water for 45-60 mins, covered. After 60 mins, discard the water beans are soaked in, rinse beans with fresh water and they are ready to be used in the recipe.

You may have to adjust the cooking time, since these may take little longer to cook as compared to once that have been soaked overnight.

Can I use canned beans?

Yes, you can use canned beans for this Rajma Masala. Follow the same recipe, drain and rinse the beans. Cook beans on Pressure Cook / Manual mode (high) for 5 mins. This will allow all the flavors to incorporate well. Rajma masala is ready to be devoured.

What goes well with Rajma Masala?

Rajma Masala is typically served over steamed white rice (Chawal), some yogurt, and some onion salad. 

I also like to serve Aloo Gobi / Cauliflower Potato Curry as a side dish. 

 

Some more recipes from blog. Enjoy!!

Palak Dal / Spinach Lentil

Methi Chicken / Fenugreek Chicken Curry

Baingan Fry / Air Fryer Eggplant

Jowar Roti / Sorghum Flour Flatbread

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Rajma Masala / Kidney Beans Stew

Rajma Masala / Kidney Beans Stew is a very popular kidney beans recipe from Indian Cuisine. This kidney beans is highly nutritious, yummy and an easy one pot meal. An excellent protein rich diet for vegetarians.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword kidney beans, rajma, kidney beans curry, rajma masala, instant pot, instant pot recipes, instant pot vegetarian recipes, instant pot kidney beans, instant pot rajma masala, pressure cooker recipes
Prep Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes
Servings 4
Author Jyoti Behrani

Ingredients

  • 1 cup kidney beans, soaked overnight or minimum of 4 hours
  • 2.5 cup water
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder, as per taste
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful of fresh coriander

For onion paste:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp water, for making the paste

For tomato puree:

  • 2 medium tomato
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1 green chili, optional

For Brown Rice:

  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 1 tsp oil, optional
  • salt to taste

Instructions

Instructions for Instant Pot Cooking:

  • Drain the water from the kidney beans, rinse and keep it aside.
  • Turn on Instant Pot to saute mode (high), add oil, cumin seeds, onion paste. Saute for 5-7 min, or until all the moisture from the paste has evaporated.
  • Add tomato puree, dry spices, saute for 3-5 min, or until oil separates from the tomato puree.
  • Add kidney beans and water, salt to taste.
  • Optional: Place a trivet. In a insert (bowl) add all the ingredients for brown rice and place the insert on the trivet. Close the lid with vent on sealing position.
  • Turn on Instant Pot to Bean/Chili mode for 30 min. Let pressure release naturally.
  • Add lemon juice and fresh coriander. Serve hot with rice.

Notes

  1. Wash kidney beans couple of times. Soak beans in enough water (beans:water = 1 cup:3 cup) for overnight. Before cooking, discard the water the beans were soaked in, rinse couple of times and beans are ready to be used for cooking.
  2. I prefer onion paste, it gives nice texture to the gravy. But you can use chopped onions, tomatoes for this recipe as well. If using onion paste, cook the paste properly. 
  3. The consistency of the Rajma Masala is thick, more like a stew. But you can adjust the consistency, add more water if desired.
  4. Adjust the spice level, reduce red chili powder or garam masala for less spicy rajma.
  5. Cooking Kidney Beans Stew /Rajma Masala can be very tricky at times. Depending upon the quality of the beans, if it is aged/old, it might take longer to cook even though it is soaked overnight. Please use timing as a guideline. If required add additional time to cook the beans. 
  6. Canned beans can also be used in this recipe. Follow the same recipe, drain and rinse the beans. Cook beans on Pressure Cook / Manual mode (high) for 5 mins. This will allow all the flavors to incorporate well.
  7. Kidney Beans Stew / Rajma Masala tastes even better the next day, as the beans soak up all the flavors.
  8. Instructions for Pressure Cooker Cooking: Follow the recipe as discussed. Close the pressure cooker, after the first whistle, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20-25 mins. Let pressure release naturally.
  9. For brown rice, we like the rice well done. Ratio 1:1.25, rice:water can also be used.

 

 

Jyoti Behrani

Hello!! Welcome to my blog, my journey Living Smart and Healthy! Cook with me easy and authentic Indian food and around the globe. Will be sharing tips and tricks on easy authentic cooking, without spending hours in the kitchen or comprising on authentic flavors. Keeping things simple and healthy is what I am all about. Life is simple, so lets keep cooking simple too!!

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