Rajma Masala is one of the most popular vegetarian dishes in Indian cuisine. It is a spicy curry made from red kidney beans. These beans are called Rajma in India, hence the name of this dish. The Rajma Masala originally comes from the Punjab region in northern India. Its popularity is partly due to its really simple preparation and partly to its refined seasoning. The Indian spices transform this simple bean dish into a taste explosion.
Red kidney beans in spicy onion and tomato sauce
The Rajma Masala consists of red kidney beans in an onion and tomato sauce with Indian spices like cardamom, cumin and garam masala. I got this recipe from the extremely great cookbook „Vegan aus aller Welt“ that was written by the owners of Villa Vegana in Mallorca. I can recommend this cookbook to you (if you speak german), because it is one of my absolute favourite cookbooks with lots of great pictures and delicious recipes from all over the world.
Rajma Masala is exotic, fruity and spicy
This masala always goes down well with all my guests, because it tastes exotic, fruity and spicy. It is served with a topping of ginger and chili, which gives the food the final kick. Rajma Masala is a good alternative to the recurring (though very tasty) Chili Con Carne. We usually eat the kidney bean curry with rice, naan bread (thick fluffy dough) or papadum (thin fried flat bread made of lentil flour) as a side dish.
Kidney beans have great cholesterol-lowering properties, by the way. And their high fibre content ensures that blood sugar does not rise too quickly after eating.
I prefer to eat the Rajma Masala in winter, because the nutritious, warm dish warms up wonderfully from within and gives you strength to resist the cold. By the way, it tastes best when it has been allowed to stand for a few hours.
- 4 tomatoes
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cardamom seeds
- 3 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 onion
- 2 cm ginger
- 1 green chili
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 200 ml strained tomatoes
- 3 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp Garam Masala Indian spice mixture
- 500 g kidney beans precooked
- 150 ml vegetable broth
- chili flakes
For the topping:
- 1 green chili
- 4 cm ginger
- ½ bunch cilantro
- 2 tsp margarine
For the Rajma Masala:
- Chop the tomatoes and onion into fine cubes. Peel ginger and grate finely. Press or finely chop the garlic clove.
- Fry cardamom seeds, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon in a pan in hot oil until the spices start to smell. Then add onions, ginger and garlic and sweat until the onions are glassy. Then add tomato paste, the chopped tomatoes and strained tomatoes and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes while stirring.
- Put cumin and coriander seeds in a mortar and crush finely (only if you use whole seeds and no powder). Add them to the pan together with Garam Masala. Add the kidney beans and vegetable stock and let the curry boil down for about 20 minutes until the consistency is nice and creamy. Season to taste with chili flakes, salt and pepper.
For the topping:
- Cut the chili and ginger into fine strips. Coarsely chop the fresh coriander. Roast the chilli, ginger and coriander in a pan with hot margarine for about 2-3 minutes. As a topping, add to the ready made Rajma Masala.
- Serve with rice, naan bread or papadums.
If you liked this recipe for Indian Rajma Masala you may also like one of these other Asian recipes:
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