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+ servings
A bowl of kidney beans curry and topped with cilantro
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5 from 8 votes

Instant Pot Rajma

Rajma Masala is a popular dish from North Indian Cuisine. It’s prepared by simmering kidney beans in an onion-tomato base sauce and few aromatic Indian spices, to get a thick, stew-like consistency.
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time23 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Vegan
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 162kcal



  • Turn on the instant pot and press saute mode. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and as the oil heats up, add the cumin seeds and bay leaf. Saute until the seeds start to sizzle.
  • Add the chopped onions and cook for 3 minutes, till the onion turns slightly soft.
  • Add minced ginger, garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Now add the diced tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy (about 3 minutes).
  • Add all the spices and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the canned kidney beans, Kasuri methi and 1 ½ cups of water. Give it a mix and cancel the saute mode. (If you are adding soaked dry beans instead of canned beans, add water until it cover the beans)
  • Close the instant pot lid and turn the vent to the sealing position.
  • Press the manual or pressure cooker mode and cook the rajma for 6 minutes (for soaked bean 30 minutes) in high pressure.
  • Once the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.
  • After the pressure has subsided, stir the curry well and add lemon juice, cilantro and a little bit of water to get the right thickness you prefer.
  • You can also mash some of the beans to make it thicker, but keep in mind that the curry thickens as it cools.
  • Instant Pot Kidney Beans Masala is ready! Serve it hot paired with steamed rice, naan, or bread.



  • If you are using dry kidney beans or rajma - Wash the rajma twice with tap water. Add about 7 cups of water and soak the rajma overnight or at least 4- 6 hours. It’s important to soak the rajma for that long. It is the key to get a creamy rajma curry. Drain the beans well, before using them in the curry.
  • Use good quality spices like garam masala or use ground coriander powder. 
  • The amount of water and cooking time may be slightly different depending on the quality of the rajma.  
  • Add water until it covers the beans for a thicker consistency
  • Rajma curry thickens as it cools, so keep the gravy semi-thick when done. If it’s too thick while serving, add little boiled warm water.
  • Option to choose the "bean/ chili " button to cook the dry and soaked beans.
  • 4 hours + 40 minutes - the cooking time for the dry beans version. 
Note: The nutrition values I show here are my best estimates. Please be sure to check your preferred nutrition calculator, if you are relying on accurate calculations in your diet.


Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 490IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg