Rajma Masala is an easy, tasty Kidney Bean Curry recipe. Beans, vegetables and simple spices combine into a tasty Indian dish. Make it in just 25 minutes.
This Rajma Masala is a restaurant-style Kidney Bean Curry that's quick, easy, nourishing and delcious.
It's not too spicy, but you can, of course, increase the heat to your liking.
It uses red kidney beans and a simple mix of veggies and spices to make an easy curry that's on the table in under half an hour.
This rajma recipe is a perfect dinner to cook up quickly for a weeknight or to make a large batch to divy up for lunches for the workweek!
I love making a double batch for meal planning so I can stash half in the freezer for another day.
This kidney bean curry, known as rajma masala or palak rajma, is one of the easiest curries you can make.
It doesn't have a long list of unusual spices, but has a great flavor from spices you probably already have in the cupboard.
The main protein is kidney beans which makes this meal hearty and high in protein and fiber.
Pair that with simple vegetables & spices along with some coconut milk to make a creamy dish that can be served over rice or quinoa, or scooped up with naan or chapatis.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
The entire recipe takes about 25 minutes from start to finish, making it a great option to make on a busy night.
You can find all of the ingredients in your local grocery store which makes it easy to make any time of the year.
You can double or triple the batch to use for lunches throughout the week or to freeze for meal planning.
This rajma recipe is freezer-friendly.
The entire dish is made in 1-pot right on the stovetop, making clean up super easy.
You can customize this kidney bean curry by adding your favorite vegetables or seasonings.
All of the ingredients are inexpensive so it’s great for those eating healthy on a budget.
It's naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.
Ingredients & Tools
- Oil - You’ll need your favorite cooking oil to saute the onion, garlic and ginger. Olive, sunflower or coconut all work. You can make it oil-free by cooking in a non-stick pot and adding a splash of water to the onions when cooking.
- Red Onion & Garlic - These two aromatics flavor the curry with a classic onion and garlic flavor.
- Ginger - Adds that classic flavor that’s fresh and mild.
- Garam Masala & Cumin - These two seasonings are a classic blend of spices that are popular in most curry dishes. They're easy to find in most grocery stores.
- Bay Leaves - Adds a deep level of flavor to the curry as it simmers.
- Red Chilies - Gives the curry heat. Feel free to add as little or as much as you like!
- Canned Diced Tomatoes - Gives the curry it’s red flavor and a hint of acidity to balance the flavors.
- Canned Kidney Beans - The main protein and fiber source in the dish that makes it hearty and delicious, and makes it a classic Rajma Masala.
- Coconut Milk - A great dairy free way to make this curry extra creamy and thick.
- Spinach - Gives the curry color and nutrition from dark leafy greens. You can substitute kale or other leafy greens.
- Lime Juice - Adds a pop of freshness and citrusy flavor. The freshness of the lime really lifts the finished dish. You can substitute lemon juice or just leave it out.
Step By Step Tutorial
Follow this step-by-step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Heat oil in a pan over a medium/low heat and fry the onion for about 7 minutes or until soft but not browned.
Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, bay leaves and chilli and cook for a further minute.
Add the canned tomatoes and coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly.
Stir in the kidney beans and heat for 3 minutes, then stir in the spinach and cook for a further minute to wilt. Stir in the lime juice and serve.
The level of spice is 100% controlled by how much red chili you’d like to add. For a curry that is completely free of spiciness, omit the red chili completely. Like it hot? Just add more.
Stir in the spinach last and let the heat of the curry wilt it down rather than adding it at first. This will prevent it from becoming soggy.
Make sure you drain and rinse the kidney beans well as if the liquid from the can is added to the curry it will change the texture.
You can switch up the spinach for kale, chard or other greens. Or leave it out completely.
This Rajma recipe can be enjoyed on its own with rice, or make it into an Indian curry feast with some of these side dishes:
Serve with a slice of this beautiful Turmeric Bread.
Enjoy with some homemade chapatis (Indian flatbread).
Great with a batch of this homemade Naan Bread.
Ladle over a bed of this Turmeric Rice or a classic Pilau Rice.
Pairs well with a side of Bombay Aloo Potatoes.
Serve the rajma recipe with Vegetable Pakora or a side of Curried Parsnips for a full and vegetable-filled Indian meal.
Serve with a refreshing Banana Lassi or Mango Shake.
Feel free to add in your favorite vegetables such as: mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, jalapenos or even potatoes. This Rajma Masala is really flexible so you can add in extra veggies and it will still taste great.
Don’t like kidney beans? Try using chickpeas, white beans or black beans.
If you can tolerate dairy, replace the coconut milk with cream for a decadent rich flavor and texture.
Chop up some cilantro and parsley and sprinkle it on top of the finished product for a great color and fresh flavor.
Add some chopped fresh chillis for extra heat.
Gluten-free Kidney Bean Curry: This recipe is made gluten free but make sure you check the labels on your spices and canned goods to steer clear of any gluten containing ingredients.
Vegan rajma masala: The recipe as follows is 100% vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Storing: Store this cooked and cooled kidney bean curry in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Freezing: Pour the cooked and cooled rajma curry into a freezer safe bag leaving room for it to expand in the freezer. It keeps well for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
What are red kidney beans called in India? They are called rajma which is why this dish is also called Rajma Masala or Rajma Curry.
Are kidney beans healthy for you? Yes! They contain natural fiber, protein and vitamins that help keep you full and satisfied.
Do kidney beans need to be soaked? In this recipe you’ll be using canned kidney beans (rajma) which are already soaked and cooked completely. If you are using dried beans, it’s best if you soak them before cooking and then adding to the curry.
Indian Curry Recipes
I hope that you love this North Indian Rajma Masala (Kidney Bean Curry) recipe as much as we do! Be sure to check out my other Indian curry recipes.
Roasted Carrot Curry
Lentil Dal Recipe
Instant Pot Lentil Curry
Easy Tofu Curry
Vegan Butter Chicken (cauliflower)
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Rajma Masala (Kidney Bean Curry)
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 red onion peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 red chillies deseeded and finely chopped - adjust to your taste for heat
- 1 can (15oz/400g) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (15oz/400g) coconut milk
- 1 can (15oz/400g) kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups spinach rinsed
- 1 lime juiced
- Heat oil in a pan over a medium/low heat and fry the onion for about 7 minutes or until soft but not browned.
- Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, bay leaves and chilli and cook for a further minute.
- Add the canned tomatoes and coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly.
- Stir in the kidney beans and heat for 3 minutes, then stir in the spinach and cook for a further minute to wilt. Stir in the lime juice and serve.
- The level of spice is 100% controlled by how much red chili you’d like to add. For a curry that is completely free of spiciness, omit the red chili completely.
- Stir in the spinach last and let the heat of the curry wilt it down rather than adding it at first. This will prevent it from becoming soggy.
- Make sure you drain and rinse the kidney beans well as if the liquid from the can is added to the curry it will change the texture.
- Serve with a slice of this beautiful Turmeric Bread.
- Great with a batch of this homemade Naan Bread.
- Ladle over a bed of this Turmeric Rice.
- Pairs well with a side of Bombay Aloo Potatoes.
- Feel free to add in your favorite vegetables such as: mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, jalapenos or even potatoes.
- Don’t like kidney beans? Try using chickpeas, white beans or black beans.
- If you can tolerate dairy, replace the coconut milk with cream for a decadent rich flavor and texture.
- Chop up some cilantro and parsley and sprinkle it on top of the finished product for a great color and fresh flavor.
- Add a little umami flavor by stirring in 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari to the finished product.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.
Thank you for the recipe. I have made this recipe twice and each time I didn't have precisely the right ingredients (same ingredients missing in both times), bay leaves and coconut milk. Instead of the red chilis, I used chopped green chili (just two).
But still really good and easy.
I added broccoli for more nutritents. Yum.
How big is that can of beans?
Hi, it's 400g/15ounces.
This recipe really is easy and quick to get on the table. My whole family loved it! The perfect weeknight dinner idea.
Kristina M Tipps
Tasted wonderful- kidney beans are one of my favorites. What a perfect combo!
I've had a knockout kidney bean curry in a restaurant before but had never tried making my own... This was perfect and delicious!
Thank you for this! I'm still a curry newbie, so I love experimenting with as many new curry recipes as possible. This one was really amazing.
This was delicious! Loved that I had everything on hand in the pantry too. Such a great dish. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
I'm intrigued by using coconut milk in place of cream. I'd love to try this with black beans!
I would LOVE to put some beans on my table now. It's been a while. Love how tasty they look in the pictures!
I just adore curry, but I have never had this one before. Going to have to try this recipe soon. 🙂
This looks like such a comforting dish -- haven't tried making curry with kidney beans, but I'm convinced after reading your recipe that I need to try it!