Instant Pot Rajma Masala

Active time:20 min. Total time:1 hour, 30 min.
Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 cup)

Rajma Masala is a popular dish in northern India with bright and fragrant qualities. It’s very flavorful, and the depth of flavor from pairing fresh ingredients and spices creates something that’s refreshing and comforting at the same time. Adding some yogurt at the end helps thicken the dish, but the most important ingredient you can use here is good quality vegetable broth. Serve over basmati rice with ghee, extra yogurt, herbs, pickles, and lime wedges on the side. 


  • 1large (13 oz.) yellow onion, coarsely chopped (3 cups)
  • 6garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1(1-in.) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1large jalapeño chile, seeds and ribs removed, chopped (3 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp.)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato (6 oz.) (from 2 [4-oz.] tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon black cardamom seeds (from 1 pod)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 oz.) dried dark red kidney beans
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

How to Make It

Step 1

Process onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and tomatoes in a food processor until finely chopped, about 15 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.

Step 2

Select SAUTÉ setting on a 6-quart programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Select MEDIUM temperature setting, and allow to preheat. Add ghee, and heat until fragrant. Add cumin, turmeric, garam masala, cardamom, and cinnamon; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Stir in broth, kidney beans, and salt. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position.

Step 3

Select MANUAL setting on HIGH pressure for 60 minutes. (It will take 10 to 20 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

Step 4

Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take 5 to 15 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker, and turn off cooker. Let stand 10 minutes; stir in yogurt and lime juice, and serve.

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