Rajma Masala Curry ( Spicy Pinto Bean Curry)

I love  rajma! It’s one of my favourite dishes. Usually served with basmati rice, this Indian pinto bean dish is called ‘rajma chawal’ in Hindi. I highly doubt you will find this  at any Indian restaurant but it’s one of the most popular North Indian dishes.  Made with a spicy tomato masala, it’s really flavorful and paired with rice, it’s extremely satisfying to eat.

Serves 4

What we need:

  • 2 cups raw or 2 cans cooked pinto beans
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1  onion
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 green chilli (optional)
  • Handful of freshly chopped coriander
  • 1/2 can plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • Pinch of tandoori powder (optional)

How we do:

  • If you are using raw pinto beans, cook them in a pressure cooker or boil them until soft. Be sure to add 1 tsp salt whilst doing so.
  • In a food processor, add the onion, chilli, garlic, ginger and fresh coriander. Grind to a coarse paste
  • Heat the oil in a pan. Once hot, add the cumin seeds. When they begin to sizzle, add the grinded paste. Cook for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Now add all of the dry masalas and mix well. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Add the tomatoes and mix. Cook for 3-5 minutes. When you see the oil begin to separate from the masala, it is ready.
  • Add the cooked pinto beans to the masala and add half cup of water. If you boiled beans rom raw, also add the water they were boiled in. Cook on high and let it come to a boil for about 5-7 minutes. Check for salt!
  • Balle Balle! Chow down with some basmati rice, garnish with coriander and you’re good to go 🙂

11 thoughts on “Rajma Masala Curry ( Spicy Pinto Bean Curry)

  1. Wow I love rajma curry, too. It’s not only healthy but very delicious. Though I have never try making rajma curry before I confident I will servive with the help of this recipe 🙂

    1. Hey Tes,
      Thanks for your comments! Yeah rajma is just as simple as making dal, especially if you’re using a pressure cooker. It just needs soaking overnight and cooking in the pressure cooker for approx 10 minutes after the first whistle goes off.
      Let me know how it turns out for you! 😀

  2. Yay! I was checking out your recipe on Food52 to make along with Palak Paneer and some basmati for tomorrow’s dinner, and I got slightly lost at the mention of adding the tomatoes and coriander… they weren’t mentioned in the ingredient list! I thought that since this is one of my first ventures into Indian cooking (though this is one of my hubby’s and my favorite dishes – not newbies to enjoying!) that maybe it was ‘common knowledge’ or something, and I was the silly one who should know. Checked out your site, and tada! The full recipe! I have to say, after reading through, and bookmarking a few yummy looking ones for the future, when I went to your profile, I was a surprised to see how young you are! I love seeing people go head first into their passions, ESPECIALLY food, since my sister (24) and I (27) have long since been adapting recipes, getting creative in the kitchen, and playfully trying to outdo each other. I’m excited to try out some more recipes, so keep them coming! Go foodies!!

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you so much for your comment! It’s great to meet like minded foodies on the net. Please let me know how they recipes go for you 🙂

  3. Thank you for the recipe. My previous attempt at dal was not so wonderful, but this time the spices shine through, and balance nicely. It’s nice to try new things, but I was glad to find that I had all the ingredients on hand. I made a fresh garam masala, which may help.
    I didn’t drain the beans before adding them, and am wondering if it would be nicer had I done so? (Although they may be a bit thick for draining.)

    1. Hi Michael, thanks for your comment. I’m happy you tried my recipe and enjoyed it!. If you boiled the beans from raw, you need not drain them – there is plenty of flavour in the water! I do always advise washing and draining beans from a tin/can though. Hope this helps 😀

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