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Easy Dump and Done Dhaba Style Rajma Recipe. An Indian Kidney Bean Curry cooked in a fragrant tomato yogurt sauce. Made in the instant pot, no extra steps, just add to pot and done. Serve with a dollop of vegan butter and a side of rice.

overhead shot of a plate of red kidney bean curry served with rice

If you want to make a Punjabi fall in love with you, Make a ridiculously good Rajma(Kidney Bean Curry) ie this Dhaba Style Rajma!. The easiest and most hands-off way to whip a comforting bowl of rajma. We cook some kidney beans along with whole and ground spices then add some tomato puree and finish off with yogurt for some extra richness and creaminess. This is a dump and done recipe, ie no standing around for multiple steps! Just add to pot and pressure cook.

To get that extra creaminess, we mash the kidney beans along into the sauce. With the whole spices this Rajma tastes especially amazing a few hours after cooking as the whole spices bloom with time.

a plate of Dhaba Style Rajma with rice sprinkled with cilantro
The cooked kidney beans absorb all of those much-loved spices and they are simply heartwarming served with a dollop of vegan butter!

“rajma
Just as much as any bean, the red kidney bean is a great source of protein so this makes for a nutrient-dense option when you need a power-packed lunch or dinner. If you don’t have any red kidney beans on hand, feel free to use pinto or black beans.

a serving of Indian Dhaba Wake Rajma Curry served with a side of rice and topped with a dollop of butter

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Dhaba Rajma Masala Indian Kidney Bean Curry

4.87 from 15 votes
By: Vegan Richa
Servings: 4
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Easy Dhaba Style Rajma Masala Recipe. Punjabi Kidney Bean Curry cooked in a fragrant tomato yogurt sauce. Dump annd done in instant pot, no extra steps, just add to pot and done. Serve with a dollop of vegan butter and a side of rice. 
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Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup dry dark red kidney beans soaked for 8 hours or overnight
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 inch ginger minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 hot green chili minced or omit to keep it low heat
  • 2 black cardamoms slightly opened or you can use 1 black and 1 green cardamom,
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder, or use 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1-2 teaspoon garam masala or chole masala powder
  • 2 cups water

To add later:

  • 4 ounces tomato puree, canned purée or use unseasoned tomato sauce/passata. see notes for using fresh tomato
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy yogurt, or blended silken tofu or thick cashew cream or coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves, (Kasoori methi)
  • cilantro, for garnish

Instructions 

  • Soak your beans if you haven't already and let them sit soaking for overnight or 8 hours then drain.
  • To the inner pot of the instant pot, add a few drops of oil and spread at the bottom to avoid the beans sticking or scorching at the bottom .
  • Then add the drained kidney beans, ginger, garlic, onion, chili, cardamom, cloves, cumin, spices, and 2 cups of water.
  • Mix well. Close the lid and pressure cook on bean mode for 55 minutes to 1 hour. If your beans are old, then pressure cook for 1 hour.
    For other pressure cookers use “pressure cook” mode. For stove top pressure cookers, add 1/4 cup more water and cook for 55 mins once the pressure indicator is on( pressure has reached).
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 10 mins then quick release carefully. then open the lid.
  • Press saute and add the tomato puree, yogurt, 3/4 teaspoon salt and fenugreek leaves and mix well.
  • Mash some of the beans using your spatula by mashing them on the sides of the instant pot.
  • Continue to cook until it comes to a good boil. Taste and adjust carefully to add or adjust salt and flavor. Add more heat if needed and salt if needed.
  • Then switch of saute. Let it sit for another few minutes then garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or flatbread. A bit of vegan butter works amazingly with the rajma.
  • Store in a closed container in the refrigerator for upto 4 days. Freeze for upto 2 months.
    Reheat in a saucepan or microwave

Video

Notes

frequently asked questions: 
  • Sauté the aromatics: sauté the onion ginger garlic, and chile for 4-5 mins in 2 teaspoons an oil along with the whole spices and a pinch of salt. Then switch of sautéing. Add the rest of the ingredients and proceed.
  • Fresh tomatoes: If using fresh tomatoes, purée the tomatoes without any water in a blender then cook the purée over medium heat for 6-8 mins to thicken, then use.
  • To make in saucepan: Follow the steps in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1.5 cups more water, partially cover and cook for 65-75 minutes or until the beans are tender. Then mash some beans and proceed to add the tomato purée yogurt etc 
  • Oilfree: omit the oil and vegan butter 
  • Double it: Time remains the same
  • Canned beans: Use 2 cans, drain, add to pot with spices snd 1 cup water(instead of 2 cups), pressure cook 5 mins, quick release and proceed 
  • No Onion garlic: use zucchini instead of onion, add 1/2 teaspoon more fenugreek leaves and a generous pinch asafetida if you have some. 

Nutrition

Calories: 98kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 647mg, Potassium: 369mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 302IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Ingredients:

  • Dark red kidney beans soaked for 8 hours or overnight
  • chopped red onion, ginger, and garlic are super important here along with hot green chili
  • whole spices: black cardamom pods,  whole cloves
  • ground spices: cumin, Kashmiri chili powder, paprika and coriander, garam masala or chole masala powder
  • tomato puree (canned purée) or use unseasoned tomato sauce lends fruitiness to the gravy
  • non-dairy yogurt makes this dish rich and creamy and mildens the heat of the chili. Use cashew cream or coconut cream or vegan cream cheese as a sub
  • salt and fenugreek leaves round out the salty and fragrant butter flavor profiles

Tips:

  • Instead of yogurt, you can use blended silken tofu or thick cashew cream
  • If you are using fresh tomatoes, purée the tomatoes without any water in a blender then cook the purée over medium heat for 6-8 mins to thick then use.
  • see recipe notes for oil free, no onion garlic and stovetop options

ingredients needed for making Indian Kidney Bean Curry

How to make this Dhaba Style Rajma Recipe

an Instant Pot with kidney beans

Soak your beans if you haven’t already and let them sit soaking for overnight or 8 hours then drain. To the inner pot of the instant pot, add a few drops of oil and spread at the bottom yo reduce chances of sticking

soaked red kidney beans with ginger, red onion and chili in an Instant Pot

Then add the drained kidney beans, ginger, garlic, onion, chili, cardamom, cloves, cumin, spices, and 2 cups of water.

Indian kidney bean curry with ginger and garlic in an Instant Pot

Mix well. Close the lid and pressure cook on bean mode for 55 minutes to 1 hour. If your beans are old, then pressure cook for 1 hour.

red kidney beans cooking with onion and tomato paste in an instant pot

Let the pressure release naturally for 10 mins then carefully quick release and open the lid.

Red Kidney Bean Curry cooked in an Instant Pot

Press saute and add the tomato puree, yogurt, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and fenugreek leaves and mix well.

dairyfree yogurt and tomato paste being stirred into a pot with kidney bean curry

Mash some of the beans using your spatula by mashing them on the sides of the instant pot.

Indian Kidney Bean Curry Dhaba Wale Rajma in an Instant Pot

Continue to cook until it comes to a good boil. Taste and adjust carefully to adjust salt and flavor. Add more heat if needed and salt if needed.

Then switch off saute. Let it sit for another few minutes then serve with rice or flatbread. Garnish with cilantro.

Indian Kidney Bean Curry sprinkled with cilantro

Alternatively, sauté the onion ginger garlic and chile for 4-5 mins in 2 teaspoon of oil along with the whole spices and a pinch of salt as the first step. Then switch off sauté. Add the rest of the ingredients and proceed to pressure cook

To make in saucepan: Follow the steps in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1.5 cups more water, partially cover and cook for 65-75 minutes or until the beans are tender. Then mash some beans and proceed to add the tomato purée yogurt etc

Indian Dhaba Wale Rajma served with rice sprinkled with cilantro
Storage

Store in a closed container in the refrigerator for upto 4 days. Freeze for upto 2 months.

Reheat in a saucepan or microwave.

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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4.87 from 15 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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46 Comments

  1. akanksha says:

    Do you set the instant pot on high or low for an hour?

    1. Richa says:

      High

  2. Maja says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I made it several times and it always turn out very good. I usually use one black and one green cardamom. Love the flavor the black cardamom gives. Great recipe, we really enjoyed it! 😊

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Yay! Glad you liked it.

  3. sonia says:

    Hi, I am making this. I don’t have fenugreek leaves. I tried to grind seeds, but afraid my blender will crash before I get any crushed. So, shall I add them at start when I saute spices? Shall this be the case in other recipes too? Trying to use spices I have, before I purchase more items.

    1. Richa says:

      Seeds have a different flavor so getting some leaves is a better idea. I use the leaves often in many recipes. You can use the blender to make a coarse meal and use a quarter of the amount as mentioned for leaves

  4. Jasmeet says:

    5 stars
    The beans were so creamy! I added a bit more masala and use cashew cream. Everyone loved it!!

    1. Richa says:

      Awesome

    2. Abby says:

      5 stars
      Absolutely delicious. And easy to prep and cook. I’ll be doubling this next time

      1. Vegan Richa Support says:

        Happy to hear!

  5. Emily says:

    5 stars
    This turned out sooo good. I am love with this version of rajma!

    1. Richa says:

      ❤️❤️

  6. Anne says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! Great comfort food!! Will definitely make again!!

    1. Richa says:

      Yay!

  7. VM says:

    3 stars
    I followed this recipe exactly with no substitutions and it fell short. I used dried kidney beans soaked for 14 hours, and followed exactly with instant pot. I had to add a lot more flavorings, but the biggest issue I had was adding the yogurt to the hot rajma/kidney beans after done. The yogurt curdled and it was not pretty.
    I am from India so have tried many rajma recipes, sadly this disappointed.

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      So sorry to hear that! Hopefully another recipe will work better for you. Thank you for your feedback here!

    2. Richa says:

      Which yogurt did you use?
      You can adjust the flavorings to preference. The spice ages matter. Older masala doesn’t have as much flavor. 2 tsp fresh garam masala is plenty for the beans. Also the flavors develop a bit later. When it’s very hot and right after cooking the flavors are a bit hidden.

  8. Kaye says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! who knew beans could taste so amazing, thanks for a great recipe.

    1. Richa says:

      Right! Indian food makes amazing beans!