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Rajma Chawal

Instant Pot Rajma Masala (Curried Kidney Beans)

Red kidney beans cooked in a thick onion-tomato gravy in the instant pot. Ladled over white or brown rice, it makes for a complete meal and a very popular North Indian dish called rajma chawal. Vegan, gluten-free and yum!
Course Lunch
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Indian curries, kidney beans curry with rice, rajma chawal, rajma masala
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 181.3kcal


  • 6-quart Instant Pot Duo
  • Small frypan


For the rajma curry

  • 1 cup red kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion chopped roughly
  • 1 inch piece ginger root chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  • For the tempering optional
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon onion chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies



  • Wash and soak the kidney beans in 2 cups water. Keep covered overnight or at least 4 hours.
  • Grind the onion, ginger, garlic and tomato in a blender to a smooth puree.


  • Switch on the instant pot to saute (normal), and add the oil, followed by the the onion puree prepared earlier. Add the red chilli, turmeric, coriander and garam masala powders. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, adding splashes of water if required.
  • Add the kidney beans, salt and 2 cups water.
  • Cancel the saute mode, close the lid, seal the vent and set the timer to 30 minutes, high pressure. When the timer beeps, let the steam escape naturally. Open the cooker and switch to saute mode again.
  • Mash one or two tablespoonfuls of beans wit the back of a spoon and simmer for 5 minutes so that the beans get mixed with the gravy. Take out the rajma in a bowl.
  • To temper the rajma curry, heat a tablespoon of oil in a small frypan and add the sliced onions and cumin seeds. When the onions turn reddish brown, add the dry red chillies and pour this seasoning into the bowl of rajma immediately.
  • Serve hot with some steamed rice and a salad of your choice.


  1. Soak your beans in water for at least 8 hours before cooking them. Traditional cultures place a lot of emphasis on soaking legumes before cooking them and for a good reason. It aids in both digestibility and nutrient absorption.
  2. If, however, you don't want to soak the beans or forgot to, add more water while cooking them. Instead of 2 cups, add 3 cups of water in step 2. Also, set the timer to 45 minutes, high pressure. This will ensure that the beans are well-cooked and soft.
  3. If making this recipe in your stovetop pressure cooker, follow the same steps including the time for pressure cooking. After closing the lid, increase heat and wait for the pressure to build up. After one whistle, lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes, then switch off. Let the steam escape naturally, then open.
  4. I have not included the soaking time in the recipe.


Calories: 181.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.4g | Protein: 4.5g | Fat: 11.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9.5g | Sodium: 813.5mg | Fiber: 5.5g | Sugar: 2.9g