Quick Rajma for those of us who live on their own/don’t have a cook/don’t have patience to cook

27 May

Rajma is an Indian dish made out of black beans. It’s a gravy eaten with plain steamed rice, and if you follow my recipe, it’s really really simple đŸ™‚

Alright, so this is what you need-

2 medium bowls of black beans
(here I’m just going to add that you get 2 varieties- the red ones and the pink ones. You can use both, but personally I prefer the pink ones because they cook faster)

2 onions finely chopped

2 tomatoes finely chopped

1 spoon of ginger-garlic paste (available at all grocery stores. If you don’t get it, then you can make some yourself)

2 teaspoons of Rajma Masala (also available at all grocer stores. If you don’t find it, use 1 teaspoon of powdered coriander seeds)

4 cloves

2 cardamom pods

2 sticks of cinnamon

4 to 5 black peppercorns

3 tablespoons of oil

1 teaspoon of red chili powder (you can put less if you want it less

salt to taste

a few chopped coriander leaves for garnish

What you need to do-

The black beans, in order to cook easily first need to be soaked. So ensure that the seeds have been soaked in water for atleast 8 hours. If you want to quicken the process, you can add a pinch of baking powder to the water, but its generally avoidable.

Making the Masala

After 8 hours of soaking, drain the water from and set the black beans aside

In a pressure cooker/ large vessel, heat the oil over a medium flame

Once heated, add the red chili powder, Rajma Masala, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and peppercorns. Let it fry in the oil for a minute, till you can smell the aroma of the spices

Now add the ginger-garlic paste and onions. Saute till golden brown.

Add the tomatoes and stir. At this point, put a lid on the cooker/vessel and let the mixture heat up for about 3 to 5 minutes on a low flame.

After 5 minutes, the tomatoes should have disintegrated and the mixture should look like a thick paste, with the oil separating from it. If not, then sprinkle some water in it, and cover it for another 5 mins.

If  the oil still doesn’t separate, don’t fret. It doesn’t happen sometimes. Smile, and breathe in the aroma.

What you’ve essentially got at this stage, is the masala.


Now add the black beans, salt  and 4 cups of water. Cover the pressure cooker/ vessel and let it heat up to a boil for about 20 minutes. (If you’re using a pressure cooker then wait for 2 whistles)

After 20 mins, if you can split a bean, then its cooked.

Now for some fun! With a masher, mash around in the vessel/cooker till you see that the stuff is thickening.

Voila! Its ready!

For garnish, add the chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with steamed rice.

TIP: For an extra tang to the dish, which is always great, squeeze half a small sized lemon into the dish.

Picture of Rajma from


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