Rajma masala (aka rajma chaval when served with rice) is a classic and comforting North Indian kidney bean curry. The prep can often be a bit time consuming, but this recipe simplifies things into a weeknight-friendly electric-pressure cooker variation with only a handful of steps. And for an even easier (and creamier!) curry, you can do all the chopping/mincing with a blender.
1.5 cups (300 g) kidney beans (light or dark)
2 cups (500 ml) water
1 large onion (~350 g)
2 tbsp ginger (~15 g, or 2 inches)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 small green chilies (see note)
2 cups diced tomatoes (~550 g, fresh or canned)
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp kashmiri chili powder (or paprika - see note)
2 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp coriander
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp fenugreek
1 tsp garam masala (or to taste)
¼ cup cream (optional - see note)
salt (to taste)
cilantro or dried methi (optional)
cooked basmati rice
Prep Steps (both methods)
Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Method
Equipment Note - Both the blender (or food processor) and the electric pressure cooker are optional, but they make rajma masala MUCH simpler to make. The blender in particular eliminates a ton of chopping and gives you a nice, smooth curry. If you don't have an electric pressure cooker, you can still make this a simple and speedy meal by using canned or pre-cooked kidney beans.
Green Chilies - I use small and relatively mild green chilies to make rajma masala. You can also use serrano chilies or jalapeños, though they'll generally be a bit hotter. If you're spice-averse, you can even use about 1/4 of a green bell pepper.
Kashmiri Chili Powder - If you don't have kashmiri chili powder, you can use good paprika (sweet or hot, per your personal tastes). You can add a little cayenne pepper too if you want to amp up the spice level.
Cream - You don't have to add cream to your rajma, but it does add richness and depth of flavour. Restaurant-style rajma will almost always have cream added - often quite a lot more than called for here. If you want to keep the recipe entirely plant-based, consider substituting coconut cream. It will impart a slight coconut flavour to the recipe, but this works quite nicely with the beans and spices.
Serving Size - It's tough to generalize serving sizes for curries like this, as it depends on how much rice (and/or naan, roti, etc.) you serve it with. This quantity easily serves eight, but could be stretched out to serve many more with sides and other curries. The recipe halves fairly easily, but also makes excellent leftovers, so don't be afraid to make a bit more than you need.
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