Living Smart And Healthy

Home » Course » Entrees / Main Course » Kidney Beans Stew / Rajma Masala – Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

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

 This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support!

Sharing is caring!

Rajma Masala is a popular dish from North Indian Cuisine. Rajma or kidney beans are simmered in an onion-tomato base sauce and some aromatic Indian spices, to get thick, stew like consistency.

Rajma Masala is highly nutritious, yummy and an easy one pot meal. An excellent protein rich diet for vegetarians. Rajma Masala is typically served over steamed white rice. This recipe is VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE

 

 

 

RAJMA MASALA

Rajma, also known as kidney beans curry, is a popular dish from northern state of Punjab, India. Traditionally, rajma is soaked overnight, boiled, and mixed with onion-tomato based sauce, called “Bhuna Masala” in Hindi. Slow cooked with aromatic Indian spices, until it reaches a thick, stew like-consistency. Slow cooking enhances the flavors of this simple dish.

I am sharing my recipe for one-pot Rajma Masala, thus making it little easier. I cook the soaked rajma along with the onion-tomato sauce, and then pressure cook it to infuse all the flavors from the aromatic spices. Thus, keeping it simple, one-pot meal, great for those busy weeknights.

I am also sharing a PIP (pot-in-pot) method for cooking brown rice. Since, kidney beans and brown rice take around same amount of time to cook, you can also cook rice at the same time. Meals can’t be easier than this!!

Typically, Rajma Masala is served over steamed white rice (Chawal) and some onion salad, but you can also serve it with some Indian flatbread, roti or naan. I like to serve Rajma masala with some steamed Basmati Rice, some homemade yogurt and some salad!

 

 

HOW TO COOK RAJMA MASALA

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. 

INSTANT POT RAJMA MASALA

Step by step recipe to cook Rajma Masala in the Instant pot.

Drain the water from the soaked kidney beans, rinse and keep it aside.

Make onion paste – blend together onions, garlic, using very little water, as needed. Keep it aside.

Make tomato puree – blend together, tomatoes, green chili, ginger. Keep it aside.

Note: 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 well, until all the moisture has evaporated. 

Turn on Instant Pot to saute mode (high), add oil, cumin seeds, and onion-garlic paste. Saute for few minutes, or until all the moisture from the paste has evaporated. This will take around 5-7 minutes.

 

 

Now, add tomato puree, dry spices – coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric, dry mango powder and salt to taste. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until oil separates from the tomato puree.

 

 

Add rinsed kidney beans and fresh water, salt to taste. Mix well.

 

 

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 minutes. Let pressure release naturally.

Open the Instant pot, check if the beans are soft and cooked. If required, add few minutes of pressure cooking.

Turn on Saute mode (more), add garam masala, lemon juice.

 

 

Note: Simmer for few minutes or until desired thickness. Sauce thickens as it cools.

Adjust the consistency of the gravy, if desired add more water. Garnish with some fresh coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Pic Shown: Rajma Masala

 

 

 

HOW TO MAKE RAJMA MASALA WITH BROWN RICE USING PIP (POT-IN-POT)

I absolutely love this concept of pot-in-pot cooking. Getting entire meal done in just one pot. How cool it is?? However, it is important to understand how pot-in-pot method works.

So basically, pot-in-pot cooking means, that multiple things can be cooked at the same time in the main pot (Instant Pot) using multiple, smaller pots or inserts that easily fit into the main pot.

For pot-in-pot cooking, I use the following stack-able egg trivet (just the tall trivet). It’s dual purpose you can use this for pot-in-pot cooking as well as for cooking eggs in Instant Pot. I also use stainless steel inserts or pots that easily fit into 5 quarts or larger Instant Pot.

 

Food that have similar cooking time can be cooked using this method. For example, Rajma Masala, it takes 30 minutes for dal to cook on Bean/Chili mode. Brown rice takes about 22-25 minutes of cooking. So, Rajma Masala and brown rice can be cooked together using pot-in-pot method.

Similarly, you can also cook Dal Makhani (Madras Lentils) and brown rice using pot-in-pot method. Here’s the recipe for Dal Makhani if you would like to check it out.

  

STOVE TOP RAJMA MASALA

Follow the recipe as discussed earlier. Close the pressure cooker, after the first whistle, reduce the heat to low and cook for 25-30 minutes. 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 

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. 

Pic Shown: Rajma Masala

 

 

 

PRO TIPS FOR THE BEST RAJMA MASALA

SOAKING BEANS – 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. If using dry beans, double the cooking time.

LIGHT OR DARK KIDNEY BEANS – I use both, light and dark kidney beans depending upon the availability. Light kidney beans take less time to cook as compared to dark ones. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Also, depending upon the type of beans used, the Rajma masala will turn out light or dark in color.

SAUCE OR GRAVY – Onion paste or chopped onions, both work fine in this recipe. However, if using the onion paste, cook the paste down. Beans absorb flavors from the sauce, so depending upon how flavorful the sauce is, the Rajma Masala will turn out. 

FRESH OR CANNED TOMATOES – I use both fresh or canned tomatoes, depending upon the availability. With canned tomatoes, the sauce turns bright in color. 

COOKING TIME – Depending upon how old the kidney beans are, the cooking time will vary. Sometimes, even after soaking the beans overnight, I still have to cook them longer. Please use timing as a guideline, adjust the cooking time as needed.

Also, light kidney beans take less time as compared to dark ones.

CANNED BEANS – If using canned kidney beans, follow the same recipe, pressure cook for 10 minutes. This will allow beans to absorb all the flavors to blend in well.

FAQ ABOUT RAJMA MASALA

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 10 minutes. This will allow all the flavors to incorporate well. Rajma masala is ready to be devoured.

Reduce the amount of water to half, as these beans are already cooked. You need water only to make the sauce or gravy.

HOW TO SERVE 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. 

 

TRIED THIS RECIPE ?

★ If you tried this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback. Please rate the recipe and/or leave a comment below.

Follow me on Facebook  Pinterest, for all the latest on my blog!! Subscribe to myYoutubeChannel for easy and delicious video recipes. Happy Cooking!!

 

RELATED POSTS

GOBI ALOO (CAULIFLOWER CURRY)

DAL MAKHANI(MADRAS LENTILS)

MAKHANI MOONG DAL (SPLIT PETITE YELLOW LENTILS)

 

Here are some SOUP recipes for you to enjoy!!

CREAMY TOMATO BISQUE

CHICKEN GNOCCHI SOUP

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP

CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

MINESTRONE SOUP

CHICKEN AND CABBAGE SOUP

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

TOMATO CARROT BEETROOT SOUP

MOROCCAN CHICKPEA TOMATO SOUP

 

Here are some more Instant Pot (Pressure cooker) recipes:

INSTANT POT BEETS OR BEETROOTS 

INSTANT POT BAKED POTATOES

HOW TO GROW SPROUTS – LENTILS AND BEANS

HOW TO STEAM BROCCOLI

HOW TO COOK BASMATI RICE

HOW TO COOK DRY CHICKPEAS

INSTANT POT PERFECT BOILED BABY POTATOES

TOP 10 RECIPES OF 2019

Print Pin
2 from 1 vote

Rajma Masala / Kidney Beans Curry

Rajma Masala / Kidney Beans curry 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 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, as per taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoon 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

  • Make onion paste. In a mixer grinder, add onion, garlic, water as required to make a smooth paste. Keep the onion paste aside.
  • Make tomato puree. In a mixer grinder, add tomato, ginger, green chili, make a puree. Keep the tomato puree aside.
  • Drain the water from the soaked 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 minutes, or until all the moisture from the paste has evaporated.
  • Add tomato puree, dry spices, saute for 3-5 minutes, 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 minutes. Let pressure release naturally.
  • Open the Instant pot, check if the beans are soft and cooked. If required, add few minutes of pressure cooking.
  • Turn on Saute mode (more), add garam masala, lemon juice.
    Note: Simmer for few minutes or until desired thickness. Sauce thickens as it cools.
  • Garnish with some fresh coriander. Serve hot with steamed 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 10 minutes. This will allow all the flavors to incorporate well. Reduce the amount of water to half, as these beans are already cooked. You need water only to make the sauce or gravy.
  7. Kidney Beans Stew / Rajma Masala tastes even better the next day, as the beans soak up all the flavors.
  8. STOVE TOP RAJMA MASALA: 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.
  10. PRO TIPS FOR RAJMA MASALA - please refer to the post earlier
  11. FAQ ABOUT RAJMA MASALA - please refer to the post earlier
  12. If using dry beans, double the cooking time. Add a cup of more water.

 

 

 

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!!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own site now 😉

    1. Thank you Grant for your kind words. I’m so humbled 🙏


  2. I tried to double the recipe and it came our super watery and not thick like a stew, i had to thicken the liquid with cornstarch slurry to thicken it up…..Should have tried the regular recipe first, going to attempt again. Everything smelt so good but when i went to try the beans, they were bland but the liquid they cooked in had so many flavors. Sad it didn’t turn out, will attempt again hoping for a better turn out.

    1. Hi Lauren, The recipe should work even if you double the quantity. If the sauce/gravy is not thick enough, you can cook for additional few minutes to thicken the sauce to a desired consistency. I cook 1 cup of beans with 2.5 cups of water and this ratio works for me. You can reduce the quantity of water to 2 cups and see if it helps. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Close Menu
shares