This is how I like to make Rajma. Curry patta and mustard are not standard for north Indian rajma preparations, but I’m fond of this version. Works well with white rice.


This recipe should serve 3 when served with rice.


  • Rajma (kidney beans), 2-3 white cups soaked overnight (confirm weight)
  • Water (3/4x of rajma, confirm)
  • Mustard oil, 2 tbsp
  • Ghee, 1 tbsp
  • Rai (black mustard seeds) 1 tsp
  • Jeera (cumin seeds), 1 tsp
  • Curry patta (curry leaves), 6-7
  • Ginger, 1-inch piece, finely chopped
  • Garlic, 3-4 cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes or 3 small, pureed
  • Red chili powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Salt, 1 tsp
  • Kasuri Methi (a pinch)
  • Sookha dhania (dried coriander), 1/4 tsp
  • Black pepper, a few cranks
  • Haldi (turmeric), 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala, 1 tsp
  • Fresh dhania as garnish


  1. Preparation: Soak the rajma (kidney beans) overnight in the water. Drain the water the next day. Rajma water tends to get a bit smelly.

  2. Spice and Oil Mix: In a pressure cooker, heat mustard oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, jeera, rai, and curry patta. Stir until the seeds start popping.

  3. Sauté Aromatics: Add 1 chopped onion and a tablespoon of ghee to the spice mix. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent.

  4. Add More Flavors: Incorporate finely chopped ginger and minced garlic into the mix. Stir well.

  5. Spices: Add red chili powder, salt, sookha dhania, a few cranks of black pepper, haldi, and garam masala. Stir to combine all the ingredients well.

  6. Tomato Puree: Add the pureed tomatoes to the spice mix in the pressure cooker. Mix well.

  7. Combine with Rajma: Add the soaked and drained rajma to the cooker. Mix thoroughly.

  8. Cooking: Close the pressure cooker lid and let it cook until you hear 4 or 5 whistles (seeti).

  9. Check and Serve: Once the pressure has released naturally, open the cooker and give the rajma a good stir. Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve hot. Garnish with fresh dhania.