Soak kidney beans overnight in 4 cups water. In the morning, drain the water in which the beans were soaked and then transfer them to a pressure cooker.
Add 3.5 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and pressure cook on high heat for 1 whistle, then lower the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. If using an Instant Pot, pressure cook for around 45 minutes at high pressure with natural pressure release.Beans should be completely soft when done. Set aside..
To a pan, add 2 tablespoons oil on medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle.Then add the grated onions and mix.
Cook the onions for around 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often until very light golden in color and there should be no raw smell. Compared to chopped onions, (if using chopped, cook for 3-4 minutes only) the grated ones needs to be cooked for a longer time to get rid of the raw smell. Don't rush the step else curry will have raw onion taste.
Then add ginger-garlic paste and green chili and cook for 1 minute.
Add the pureed tomatoes and mix. Cook for 5 minutes.Then add the spices- coriander, turmeric, kashmiri red chili, garam masala and salt.
Mix and cook on medium-low heat for around 10 mins until oil oozes out of masala. In total we cooked the tomatoes for around 15 minutes before adding the beans (important step, don't rush it).
Add the boiled beans along with all the water in which they were boiled. I added additional 1 cup water here. Stir well and set heat to low-medium.
Let the curry simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. In between use a potato masher to mash some of the beans. This makes the curry creamier and thickens it.
Then after it has simmered for 20 to 30 minutes, add kasuri methi and cilantro. If you want you can also add bit of cream (optional, around 1 tablespoon I did not add).I also added another 1/2 cup water here as it became quite thick while simmering. You can adjust consistency to preference.
Finally add a tablespoon of ghee and mix. If you want you can fry some ginger julienne in ghee and then add that to the rajma too. Turn off the heat. Serve rajma with rice and enjoy!
Skip the ghee in the end to make the recipe vegan.
This recipe uses Kashmiri red chili powder which gives the curry a nice color without imparting much heat.
Older Recipe: I have updated this recipe to make it simpler. If you guys want to make it the same way as the older recipe shared on the blog, then along with the cumin seeds add a bay leaf, 2-3 green cardamom, 3 black cardamom and 1-inch cinnamon stick.Use 2 teaspoons rajma masala powder and cut down the coriander powder and garam masala to 1/2 teaspoon each. Rest of the recipe will remain same.