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Rajma masala recipe (gluten-free

  • Author: Shahla
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Rajma masala are red kidney beans simmered in aromatic spices to create a thick spiced gravy. Gluten-free with dairy free & vegan options. 


  • 3 tablespoons ghee or neutral oil like avocado or olive 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 cup fine diced onion, about 1 small onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, about 3 large cloves
  • 1 small green chili or to taste, fine chopped *Optional 
  • 1 cup pureed tomatoes. About 2-3 medium tomatoes with skin and seeds. 
  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika or red chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 3 tablespoon full fat yogurt plus 1 tablespoon milk (omit for dairy free option)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups water or broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 lemon 
  • Cilantro, parsley and/or mint to garnish


  1. Warm a large saucepan on medium heat. Add ghee or oil
  2. When oil is warm, add whole cumin seeds. Stir to prevent burning. 
  3. When cumin seeds crackle and release fragrance about 30 seconds, add onion. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. 
  4. Saute onions for 5 minutes or until translucent. 
  5. Add ginger and garlic. Saute for 1 minute. 
  6. Add green chili if using. *Optional 
  7. Add pureed tomatoes and tomato paste. Increase heat to medium-high heat and mixture bubbles. Stir until ghee/oil separates, tomato mixture thickens and reduces into a paste-like consistency, about 3 minutes. 
  8. Lower heat. Add ground paprika, ground turmeric and garam masala. Saute until raw smell of spices disappear. about 1 minute. 
  9. Turn up heat to high. Add yogurt/milk mixture and sauté for 30 sec until completely blended. *Omit this step for dairy free option.  
  10. Add beans, liquid and bayleaf
  11. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until beans are soft but not mushy. 
  12. Mash 1/4 cup of beans with a potato masher or spoon.
  13. Add 1 teaspoon salt. 
  14. Adjust with additional liquid to desired consistency. Adjust salt. Squeeze lemon and garnish. 


Save time and use crushed tomatoes in a can. Puree in a small food processor if chunky. 

I like to grate ginger using a microplane zester

Rajma freezes well. Add liquid (water or broth) when reheating to loosen up. 

If using yogurt/milk mixture- make sure your heat is high and don’t add salt until instructed otherwise your Rajma will be grainy and yogurt will curdle.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
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