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Monday, 6 August 2018

Rajma Pulao Recipe

Rajma Pulao is a flavorful and protein rich North Indian dish made from rice, red kidney beans and spices. This healthy one-pot meal is gluten-free , vegan and very easy to prepare . Pair it with curd or raita of your choice and some roasted papadam for a comfort meal. Rajma Pulao is budget friendly and makes up for a good lunch box menu too. I have used brown basmati rice to make this pulao which makes this dish all the more nutritious .


My little one loves rajma and chole to the core and so do i. But hubby is not very fond of these legumes. So when he is in office during the day time, we both enjoy these comforting curries for our lunch. Few months back i had some boiled rajma left over from previous day siting in my refrigerator and it was not enough for curry so i added it to our pulao and the combo tasted great. Now i make this rajma pulao quite often. This week for our #156th #FoodieMondayBlogHop ,it was Mayuri di to choose the theme. Mayuri Patel di is a versatile food blogger who blogs at MayurisJikoni. Do check out her blog for wonderful recipes from all over the world. So she chose the theme, "any but white rice" which means we had to cook a dish using different rice varieties, other than the white rice. I decided to make our favorite rajma pulao using brown basmati rice.


I have used red Kashmiri kidney beans in this recipe. I prefer red kidney beans over the black ones, as they cook fast. I also like their small size and color. Now the time required to cook kidney beans and rice is different, so i have boiled the kidney beans first and then cooked them again in the pulao with rice. Here i have used brown basmati rice from Daawat which cooks fast.


Before heading towards the recipe, let take a look at the health benefits of having brown rice. Brown rice is a highly nutritious food. It is a whole grain that is relatively low in calories (216 calories per cup), high in fiber, gluten-free and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. Brown rice is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamin, niacin and vitamin B6, and an excellent source of manganese, with 88 percent of your daily manganese in just one cup cooked.White rice was once brown rice, but the hull and bran around the kernel are removed to make it white. When brown rice becomes white rice, large quantities of B vitamins — including 90 percent of the B6 — half the manganese and phosphorus, more than half the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids are lost. Source

Preparation Time: 8 hours
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 1 cup Brown Basmati Rice
  • 1/2 cup red Kidney Beans 
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 inch root ginger grated
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 clove
  • 2 Black pepper corn
  • Small piece of Cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon rajma masala/ chana masala / garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur powder /rRaw mango powder
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. Rinse and soak the kidney beans in enough water for 6-8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans again and add them to a pressure cooker with 1 cup fresh water . Pressure cook the kidney beans for 3-4 whistles and then simmer for 10 minutes. While the beans are getting cooked, rinse the brown rice and soak it in water.

2. Open the lid of the pressure cooker once all the pressure has been released. The kidney beans should be cooked but not mushy and should hold their shape well. Strain the beans , reserve the water used for cooking the beans. We will be adding it to the pulao.

3. In a pressure cooker, heat ghee/ oil . Add whole spices (bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, clove, black pepper, cumin seeds). Once the spices crackle, add the minced garlic and ginger and saute until the raw smell goes. Next tip in chopped onions and saute well. Add the tomatoes and stir fry until they turn mushy. Add the spice powders ( turmeric powder, red chili powder , rajma masala, amchur powder) and stir fry the whole mix for another 1 minute.

4. Add boiled rajma , soaked brown rice and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Lastly add salt, coriander leaves and 2 cups water ( Water used to cook kidney beans + extra water to make up 2 cups). Give a quick stir. Close the lid and pressure cook the pulao for 2 whistles and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Open the lid once all pressure has been released . Fluff the pulao and serve it hot with your favourite raita and papad and enjoy with your loved ones !I have served it with cooling Onion Cucumber Raita and microwave roasted fryums.

   Recipe Notes:
  • I have used red kashmiri kidney beans in this recipe which cook fast. If you use other variety, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • You can make this pulao using white rice if you prefer.
  • After boiling the kidney beans should be cooked but not mushy and should hold their shape well.
I hope you like this recipe of a healthy and falvorful Rajma Pulao. If you ever try this recipe, do share your feed back with us in the comment section below. 
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For more one pot rice dishes, check out the following posts from my blog



  1. The rajma pulao looks so good! :) I'm sure it would taste delicious too. It's awesome that you have used brown basmati rice to make it!

    1. Thanks Priya. The pulao turned out to be super delicious and we had a flavorful lunch.

  2. Wow Poonam, such a tempting and comforting rice dish. I'm sure my son in law would love this rice as he too is a diehard fan of rajma. I've used the brown rice in India and like how it cooks as separate grains just like the normal white rice. Wonderful share for the theme and thank you.

    1. Yes di , the brown basmati rice cooks well and takes up the flavor of the spices. This rajma pulao turned out to be flavorful . Do give it a try . Thanks for the wonderful share !

  3. I want to have it right now, this looks sooo welcoming...what a lovely share full of flavour.

  4. Protein centric recipe, Poonam and yes I love these kind of recipes.

  5. This is a real treat to the eyes and tummy!

  6. Give me Rajma-chawal in any form and I will wipe the plate clean. Love this 'hat-ke' variation! So good!!

  7. Rajma pulao looks delish Poonam. Brown rice made it healthy too. Such a delicious and flavourful recipe Lovely share

  8. Brown Rice Rajma Pulao sounds interesting Poonam. Healthy and fabulous share.One Pot meals are always the best.