Palak Rajma Masala (Kidney Beans Curry) is a delightful Indian dish that brings together the earthy flavor of red kidney beans with the vibrant goodness of spinach. Packed with essential nutrients, protein and fiber, this hearty curry is a favorite in every Indian household.
This vegetarian recipe is known for its simplicity and wholesome taste.
It satisfies your taste buds and also nourishes your body.
Origin of rajma
Rajma also known as lal lobia is commonly enjoyed as Rajma Chawal in North India. It is kidney beans curry served over boiled rice. However, it was brought to Indian subcontinent from Central Mexico and was developed into an Indian curry masala.
They are an excellent source of iron, folate, and vitamin B1.
I love how versatile these are. Hence, I often make vegan chili.
What is rajma masala?
Kidney beans are soaked overnight and boiled in a pressure cooker. Then, they are simmered in onion tomato masala gravy seasoned with Indian spices. It is a beloved Indian comfort food.
In this recipe, I blended spinach in the masala so as to add more nutrition and greens into this dish.
This Palak Rajma Masala is delectable and satisfying, with the added twist of spinach in its base gravy.
What type of kidney beans to use?
There are a variety of kidney beans available in the market but I used canned red kidney beans for convenience. Dark or light can also be used in this recipe.
Small kidney beans are also available but its best used for Kashmiri rajma recipe.
Why you will love this
Packed with nutrition along with greens
One pot dish
Vegan and gluten free
Make ahead recipe and great for meal prepping
Flavorful and satisfying
kidney beans – You may use dry red beans in this recipe. However, make sure to soak them overnight.
Spices – I used common Indian spices that is usually found in every Indian household.
Spinach – I used baby spinach but you may use any adult spinach for this rajma curry recipe.
Sesame seeds – I added white sesame seeds to bring a twist to this rajma masala and add more nutrition like calcium as well.
For detailed measurement of ingredients, please scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make
Firstly, I blanched spinach in little water.
Secondly, along with the water, I added spinach to the blender, followed by onion, tomato, sesame seeds, wholes cloves, garlic, ginger, peppercorns and cardamom. Then, I blended it smooth and kept it aside.
Next, I heated oil in a pan with high edges, preferably a stock pot or kadhai. Then, I added fennel seeds and cinnamon powder to it.
Afterwards, I stirred in the blended spinach masala in the hot oil and let it cook for few minutes.
Then, I added turmeric, chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder to it and cooked again for few minutes.
Hereafter, I folded in the rajma beans with some more water, salt and garam masala. Then, I let it cook covered for few minutes until it started to thicken a bit.
Lastly, I removed the lid and garnished with fresh cilantro.
This rajma masala was an instant hit with my family. It’s the best recipe to hide the green veggies and yet include it into your family’s diet.
- I highly recommend using high speed blender to blend the masala for the perfect texture.
- It is important to not boil spinach in too much water. Simply dip the rinsed spinach in hot water and take them out. Do not drain the water because it can be used in the recipe.
- Let the curry simmer for few minutes, hence, do not rush through the steps.
Yes! They need to be soaked overnight before using in this recipe. Then, pressure cook them before folding in the gravy masala.
Yes! Turn on the sauté mode and season the oil as mentioned in the recipe. Add the rest of the ingredients along with soaked rajma (kidney beans). Cancel the sauté mode and seal the valve. Turn it on at high manual for 40 minutes. Once done release the pressure. Stir, garnish and enjoy. If using canned beans then cook at manual mode for 5 minutes.
This recipe is perfectly thickened. But in general, just mash few rajma beans in the curry and let it simmer for few minutes. It will thicken as it cools down.
More related recipes
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Palak Rajma Masala (Kidney Beans Curry)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- Pinch of cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp chili powder/cayenne powder or as per taste
- 15 oz canned kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1/4-1/2 cup water (as per your choice of consistency)
- salt as per taste
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Boil water in a saucepan. Turn off the flame and dip the spinach in the hot water for 2-3 minutes or until spinach starts to wilt. With the help of tongs place the spinach immediately in the blender.
- In the same blender, combine onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom and 2 tbsp water. Blend it smooth and keep it aside.
- Heat oil in a pan/kadhai. Add fennel seeds and cinnamon powder to it. As soon as the seeds start to crackle or start to cook add the spinach masala to it and cook for 5-8 minutes at medium-high flame stirring at intervals.
- Now, add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder and sauté very well. Cook for another 1-2 minutes or until all the spices are cooked properly and you get the aroma.
- Now add kidney beans, water, salt and garam masala. Mix, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes at medium heat or until thoroughly cooked.
- Turn off the flame and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot with rice, quinoa, chapatti or naan and a side salad.
- 1/8 inch cinnamon stick can also be used to replace cinnamon powder if desired.
- If using dry Rajma or kidney beans make sure to soak overnight before using in this recipe. Then, pressure cook them before folding in the gravy masala.
- Instant Pot option – Turn on the sauté mode and season the oil as mentioned in the recipe. Add the rest of the ingredients along with soaked rajma (kidney beans). Cancel the sauté mode and seal the valve. Turn it on at high manual for 40 minutes. Once done release the pressure. Stir, garnish and enjoy. If using canned red beans then cook at manual mode for 5 minutes.