Rajma biryani/Rajma chawal/Kidney bean pulav

I got so happy about participating in my first food blog event, that I got all excited about more entries to other events. I even picked out my first Mark Bittman recipe to try for IHCC – Its time for Breakfast in Bed event. My recipe was going to be Potato Asparagus frittata, I picked it out after much exploration on the web. I even went grocery shopping, but they were out of Asparagus. Dang! I was so fixated on making this recipe that I couldn’t bring myself to pick another one. We ended up not having time for breakfast and rushing for Sunday mass, so much for my ‘Breakfast in Bed’ plan. 🙂 I am still hooked on the recipe, planning to make it very soon…. i.e,  once I get my hand on some asparagus.

Having missed out on Bittman, I wanted to make it to the Vegetable Marathon event at the least. The theme being beans, I wanted to make something different for today’s dinner. I picked up my tattered cook book – of hand written recipes that my mom gave me, and some additions that I had made over the years from magazines, tv shows etc. As I turned the pages, I got the recipe for Rajma briyani.


1 cup of red kidney beans – soaked overnight

2 cups basmati rice

1 onion chopped

1 1/2 tomatoes chopped

3 cloves of garlic chopped

1 inch piece of ginger chopped

2 cloves

1 inch cinnamon

2 cardamom pods

1 tsp of cumin seeds

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp of yogurt

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp of cumin powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder

a handful of mint

chopped cilantro

3 cups water

2 tbsp canola oil

salt to taste


Heat oil in a pressure cooker, over medium high heat. Add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf. Once fried, add the tsp of cumin seeds. When it splutters, add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger. Fry until the onion is golden brown. Add the chopped tomato. Add salt and turmeric. When the tomato is softened, and the oil seperates, add the rajma. Toss to combine. Add the chilli powder, cumin powder, garam masala and coriander powder. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add the yogurt. Mix well.

Now add the basmati rice and 3 cups of water. Add the mint leaves and coriander leaves. Close the pressure cooker and cook for 3 whistles. Cool until the steam lets out, fluff and enjoy! I served the briyani with halved hard boiled eggs.

So , this is my entry to Vegetable Marathon – Beans hosted at Anita’s Kitchen.

Verdict: The rajma briyani was spicy and satisfying. The yogurt added a tangy undertone to the dish. The rice was perfectly cooked with the rajma adding a unique bite to the dish. It was very different than the usual vegetable briyani. Planning to try the same with other kinds of beans as well.

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