How To Make Rajma In Instant Pot

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Using Canned Kidney Beans For Rajma Masala

Rajma Masala Instant Pot | Pot In Pot Rice | Rajma Rice Recipe

Wondering if you can use canned kidney beans in this Instant Pot Rajma? The answer is YES!! There is a huge plus to using canned beans. No need to soak them! If you are using canned kidney beans, drain them and wash them well. Proceed with the recipe.

When you use canned kidney beans to make this recipe, pressure cook on high for 7 mins and then do a natural pressure release.

Soaking beans have two main benefits. Hydrating or soaking dried beans cuts down cooking time to a very great extent. It also helps get rid of toxins and aids in easier digestion of these protein-rich beans.

Traditionally, Rajma Masala is slow cooked in an open pot for hours, while being stirred every now and then. But with the advent of the pressure cooker, this process became much easier and less time consuming. Let us not forget the sweltering heat. While this recipe calls for cooking in an Instant pot, you can always make this in a regular pressure cooker too.

Check out how to make Punjabi Rajma in a pressure cooker.

How To Serve Instant Pot Rajma

Serve the Rajma with Chappatis or Steamed Rice.I usually love it with simple Jeera Rice.

Rajma Rice is a very famous indian combination.Its a dish thats made almost weekly in most north indian households.

I use a 6 qts instant pot and I love it! If you are in India and are looking to understand how I use it here, you should read my post on instant pot in India.

Rajma Masala Without Pressure Cooker

Cooking Rajma or Kidney Beans on Stove Top is time consuming and requires constant monitoring. However, in case you do not have an instant pot or pressure cooker, this is the next best option.

For the quantity mentioned in the recipe below, it would take atleast 45 minutes for just cooking the beans.

To check if the beans have cooked, test by taking out one bean and mashing it using a fork. If the centre is still firm or hard, it will require further cooking.

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Can You Make Rajma Masala Without Soaking Dried Red Kidney Beans

Eventhough it is possible to cook dried red kidney beans in the instant pot without soaking in water in advance, I usually do not do that since the red kidney beans is known to have some level of toxicity.

So I believe it is better to soak them in advance before cooking them to make rajma masala even when we use instant pot pressure cooker.

I sometimes make chickpea dishes like chickpea curry in the instant pot without soaking the dried chickpeas in water first.

You can see instant pot chickpeas no soak recipe here, if you wish!

So here is how you can easily make this easy rajma curry in the instant pot!

Benefits Of Soaking Rajma Beans Before Cooking

Instant Pot Rajma

Soaking the kidney beans for about 6-8 hours helps in reducing the overall cooking time in the instant pot. You will not have to worry about overcooking the gravy and spices when cooking along with beans.

Soaking ensures the beans get cleaned thoroughly well by discarding the water after it is soaked well. As the beans puff up, it gives assurance that the beans are of good quality and will cook well.

Lastly, it also helps with digestion as cooking dry beans causes gassiness in some people.

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Tips To Making The Best Rajma Masala

To make the best version of Rajma Masala, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are a few tips to try and keep in mind when making Instant Pot Rajma Masala:

  • Ensure that you drain the excess water from the kidney bean can! It can create a weird taste and excess liquid in your end result.
  • Make sure to follow your Instant Pot safety rules! Releasing the pressure too soon or touching it before the pressure is released can be dangerous. For Instant Pot safety tips, check your Instant Pot guide or read them here.
  • Using canned kidney beans is important here as youll want to make sure they get cooked all the way through.
  • If you dont have cilantro for a garnish, get creative with what you have on hand! Try using fresh dill or parsley to top off your Rajma Masala.
  • If youre making a traditional version of this recipe, youll want to soak your beans for at least 6 hours or overnight, cook them, and then add the masala for best results

How To Make Rajma Chawal

In northern India, the pairing of beans and rice is called Rajma Chawal, where Rajma refers to any variety of kidney beans, and, Chawalmeans rice in Hindi.

You can cook Rajma Chawal in the same pot using the Pot-in-Pot technique. There are two options for that:

Dried soaked Kidney Beans Curry with Brown basmati rice: Assemble beans curry in the cooking pot. Now combine brown rice, water, salt, and oil in any oven-safe cooking bowl that fits easily in the Instant Pot. Place a trivet in the cooking pot and place the rice bowl on top of that. Close the lid and pressure cook for 30 mins followed by natural pressure release for 10 minutes.

Canned kidney beans with white basmati rice: Assemble curry in the main pot. Combine white basmati rice with water, salt, and oil in an oven-safe bowl. Place trivet in the main pot, now place the rice bowl on top. Pressure cook for 6 minutes on high pressure, followed by natural pressure release for 10 minutes.

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Making Ahead Prepping And Shelf Life

Using fresh off the shelves Rajma is crucial in getting this curry. Old beans, in general, do not cook evenly and tend to have a bite in them after cooking. All this means is that your beans, if old, need to be soaked longer. If your kidney beans are older than 2 months, then soak them for at least 12 hours before cooking. When soaking beans for a longer time, change the water used for soaking mid-way. This will prevent foul odor from the beans.

If your beans are freshly bought, then a soaking time of even 4 hours will do. In case you forget to soak freshly bought beans, worry not! Just wash and soak them in hot boiling water for 2 hours before you cook.


Just remember to soak the beans in advance before you set out to cook this recipe. That is pretty much all the prep required.

Shelf life

Leftovers keep well in the fridge for 2 days. This Rajma curry also freezes well. To freeze leftover Rajma, transfer them to freezer-safe containers and freeze till ready to eat. I recommend freezing in portions. This makes thawing and reheating easier.

To thaw frozen Rajma, leave it out at room temperature for 1 hour. Then add to a sauce pan and gently reheat. Alternatively, you can use the defrost option in the microwave too.

How To Make This Recipe

Instant Pot Rajma Masala | Rajma masala | Kidney beans curry

I used canned kidney beans for this rajma masala and that works out well if you are planning this for a weekday meal. Canned beans are soft enough to start the cooking process right away with no overnight prep work. Thats what you need for busy workdays.

There was no compromise in the taste or texture compared to the traditional rajma masala that’s prepared with dry beans. But if you want to use dry beans instead, be sure to plan ahead and soak them for at least 8 hours. Lets get started.

If you are using dry kidney beans follow this step – Wash the rajma in water and soak it overnight or at least for 4- 6 hours. Drain the water and set it aside. I used canned beans so I skipped the first step.

Turn on the instant pot and press saute mode. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and as the oil heats up, add the cumin seeds and bay leaf and saute them until they start to sizzle.

Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, till it turns slightly soft.Add minced ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.Now add diced tomato to the sauteed onions.

Cook till the tomatoes turn soft and mushy and add all the spices. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Finally, add the canned kidney beans, Kasuri methi, and 1 ½ cups of water. Give it a stir and cancel the saute mode.

Close the instant pot lid and turn the vent to the sealing position. Press the manual or pressure cooker mode and cook the rajma for 6 minutes in high pressure.Once the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.

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More Indian Instant Pot Recipes

If you want to save a few more Indian main dishes, the recipes below will satisfy your cravings anytime.

  • Instant Pot Aloo Gobi
  • Instant Pot Chana Masala

If you tried this Instant Pot Rajma recipe or any other recipe, be sure to rate the recipe and let me know what you think! Follow me on , , and Facebook for more delicious recipes.

Is Rajma Good For Weight Loss

Though this vegan kidney bean recipe is far from low carb and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for anybody living a keto lifestyle, some suggest that it can be used to assist in weight loss. Because of the high protein and fiber content, it can keep you full longer while aiding in digestive health, which in turn can help you eat less during the day.

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How To Make Onion Tomato Masala

Onion tomato masala creates an irresistible flavor base for this curry. This masala is versatile in use. You can simmer any beans and lentils to make delicious curries.

People often call it butter masala if butter is used instead of oil in the preparation. Recipes for Butter chicken, egg curry, lamb and goat curry all use this spicy curry sauce.

To make onion tomato masala, you sauté chopped onions till they become fragrant. Add minced garlic and ginger. Stir and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, cumin and coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chili powder to the instant pot. Stir and sauté for 2-3 more minutes.

Remove the mixture from the pot. Let it cool down. Add little water and using the mixer, grind it into smooth puree. Onion tomato masala is ready.

You can make a big batch and freeze this masala. Comes in very handy for quickly whipping up the curries and stews. And it thickens as you cook along.

How To Cook Rajma Masala

Instant Pot Rajma

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.

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How To Make One Pot Rajma

Making one pot rajma is a bit tricky and sometimes may be a failure if the beans are an old stock as they dont get cooked. So it is like experimenting.

In this post I have shared 2 methods of making rajma. First one is to cook the rajma first and then separately make the gravy. Then add the precooked beans to the gravy. Second method is to make the onion tomato masala and then add the uncooked rajma. Pressure cook everything together until rajma turns soft.

To follow this method, Measure the soaked rajma in cups. We will have to add an equal amount of water to soft cook them in the gravy.

1. Heat ghee or oil in a pot, saute cumin until they begin to splutter. Add ginger garlic or ginger paste and saute until the raw smell goes off.

2. Add chopped onions or onion paste. If you like a smooth gravy, then use onion paste. You can also make a paste of onion and tomatoes together, but i prefer separately as this tastes better.

3. Saute until the paste or onions turn golden.

4. Add tomato puree or chopped tomatoes. Cook until the raw smell of tomatoes is gone.

5. Add red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric & salt.

6. Saute and cook until the mixture begins to leave the sides or the raw smell of the onion and tomato is gone.

Serving Suggestions For Rajma

Rajma and Basmati Rice is a comforting combo in many households in India. As I have mentioned before, you can also serve Rajma with Naan bread, Flatbread, Roti, or even Quinoa. All the pairings are delicious and a great way to soak up the extra gravy.

I also love to serve Pickled onions and a mint sauce occasionally.

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Soak And Cook Rajmah Rajma Beans

1. Sort dried beans and discard any misshapen or discolored beans. Rinse a couple of times, then soak 1 cup rajma in enough water to cover them. Soaking should ideally last for 8 to 9 hours, so I usually soak them the night before I cook.

2. Once the beans are well soaked, discard the soaking water. Drain and rinse the soaked beans a few times to remove any leftover grit, if any. Add the rinsed and drained kidney beans to a 3-liter pressure cooker.

3. Add 3.5 to 4 cups of water and stir. Pressure cook the rajma for 18 to 20 whistles . The cook time of your beans will vary depending on their quality and age.

4. While the kidney beans are cooking, chop one large onion , two large tomatoes , and make the crushed ginger+garlic+green chili paste.

5. For the paste, you need to crush or grind 1-inch ginger, 5 to 6 small garlic cloves , and 1 to 2 green chilies to a paste in a mortar-pestle or a small grinder.

6. When the pressure settles down on its own in the cooker, open the lid. Check if the rajma is cooked or not by eating or pressing a bean with your fingers. The cooked beans should not have a bite to them and softened, and the rajma beans should be thoroughly-cooked. If they are not cooked thoroughly, pressure cook again for a few more minutes.

About One Pot Rajma Masala

Rajma in the Instant Pot | Episode 059

This rajma recipe is one pot and made entirely in a stovetop pressure cooker. The recipe is easy to make if you have all the ingredients. Many of these ingredients are easily available in an Indian kitchen.

Rajma Chawal is one of the regulars at any Punjabi house. On weekends, rajma chawal or Dal Makhani or Chana Masala or Punjabi Kadhi Pakora is kind of must in any Punjabi home and in my home too.

In Punjabi homes, they often make rajma chawal, where the flavorful rajma curry is served with steamed rice.

I am sharing here both the methods of making the delicious kidney bean curry a.k.a rajma and chawal with step by step photos.

This easy one pot rajma masala is my mother-in-laws fabulous Punjabi recipe. It is her special recipe and it is special in one more sense.

That it is a really unique, simple and easy rajma recipe no blending or grinding of any ingredients, no sautéing and no frying.

This is a one pot rajma gravy that you can make regularly at home. The rajma masala that you eat in Punjabi homes is not spicy, thick or creamy like the rajma masala served in restaurants.

This homestyle recipe is mildly spiced and not heavy as I do not add any cream. Overall a delicious easy kidney bean curry that goes well with steamed rice.

In most Punjabi homes the kidney beans are cooked till they become soft enough to melt in the mouth. Whereas in many of the restaurants I have eaten, the beans are just about cooked or al dente.

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Can I Use Canned / Pre

Yes! You can use canned, pre-cooked instead of dried beans. This works well if you forgot to soak the beans or you are really short on time ,you only have canned beans on hand, just make sure you rinse the beans before adding it to the masala .

When you use pre-cooked or canned beans, you need to adjust the pressure cooking time and water. Otherwise, the rest of the steps are the same. You only need a cup of water when using cooked beans. You have to adjust the cook time to 5 minutes.

How To Cook Rajma Masala In Instant Pot

We can cook Rajma by soaking it overnight or for 6-8 hours but you can also make this dish without soaking it. Both ways work just fine and the only difference is the time, when we cook Rajma /Red Kidney Beans without soaking then it takes little more time, although taste and creaminess remains the same.

You can use Canned Beans as well for cooking Rajma Masala. My suggestion is to always wash the canned beans in running tap water, since they contain a lot of salt and using them without washing them will ruin the taste.

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