Wash the rajma under running cold water until the water runs clear. Or rinse them with tap water 2-3 times or until the water is not cloudy anymore.
Soak in enough water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Discard the soaking water.
Take soaked beans along with fresh water in the pressure cooker (or instant pot).Pressure cooker: 1 whistle on High heat then reduce to Low and cook for 10 minutes.Instant pot: Manual (high pressure) for 8 minutes.
NOTE: The cooked rajma should be soft and mashed easily when pressed between finger and thumb. Some of them may open up and those will help in making thick gravy.
Making Rajma Masala:
Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add bay leaf and saute for 30 seconds.
Then add chopped onions and sprinkle some salt to speed up the cooking process. Cook the onions until they are light brown in color.
Add ginger and garlic paste. Saute for a minute or until the raw smell of ginger-garlic goes away.
Add tomato puree, mix well and let it cook. Cook until all the moisture evaporates and oil starts to leave the sides of the pan. Do stir in between to make sure that it is not sticking to the pan.
Add spice powders (Turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder, garam masala, amchur). Mix well and cook for a minute.
Then add Boiled rajma along with its water. To get more thick gravy, mash few rajma with the back of the spoon or spatula.
Mix well and let it simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. Check the salt and other spices. If gravy is too thick then add some water and bring it to a boil. If gravy to too thin and watery then let it simmer for few more minutes or until you get your desire gravy consistency.
Forgot to soak the beans? Here’s Quick Soaking Method: Take beans and plenty of water in a pan. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Then turn off the stove and cover tightly with a lid. Let it sit for 1 hour. Voila, after 1 hour your beans are at the same stage where you have after overnight soaking.Using canned kidney beans: Please use 1 can (15 oz) of kidney beans but skip the soaking and boiling steps. So you’ll just have to make onion-tomato gravy, add canned beans and simmer.Make the gravy thick (not watery): There are few things you can keep in mind while making rajma recipe to make the thick gravy.
Make sure to chop the onions very finely (don’t keep big chunks). Or you can grate the onions.
Simmer on LOW for good 10-15 minutes.
While simmering the gravy mash a few rajma using the back of the spatula which helps in thickening the gravy.