Beetroot Rice | Beetroot Pulao

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Wanting to bring in a burst of color, naturally in your otherwise white rice dishes? This Beetroot Rice recipe is at your service. A simple, vegan and gluten free lunch idea, the Beetroot Rice or Beetroot Pulao is made with basmati rice, finely chopped beetroot, onion, spices and herbs. It is the easiest way to turn your meal, a beautiful red and also really nutritious with the goodness of beets. You may find the list of ingredients much, but trust me all of it is just what your everyday foodstuffs from an Indian kitchen. I’d say, go for this dish.

beetroot rice garnished with coriander leaves and served in a white bowl with text layovers.

More on Beetroot Rice

At home, I usually make this Pulao either with mixed veggies or just one veggie. However, in this Beetroot Rice recipe, it is the beetroot which is quite the highlight of the entire dish. Since it also uses curry leaves and mustard seeds, the flavor is more of South Indian. So, at the end you can also sprinkle some fresh grated coconut on the rice.

If you’d like more vegetables in this Beetroot Rice, please go ahead and add. For instance, you can add green peas, potatoes and carrots. Some fresh leafy greens like spinach (palak) or fenugreek leaves (methi) can also be added in small quantity. Carrot and beetroot really pair well together.

This Beetroot Rice recipe is slightly spicy from the green chilies and red chili powder, which is balanced aptly with the sweetness of the beetroot that comes through in the dish. If you get to see, it is not only a complexly flavored rice dish, but also makes for a tasty healthy meal. 

Serve this lovely colored Beetroot Rice with some raita or a side of fresh salad or plain yogurt. At my home, I serve this rice with a comforting potato roast and fried papad. For more Indian recipes with beetroot, you can check this collection of 14 Beetroot Recipes.

Why This Recipe Works

A superfood, beetroot is much more than just a root vegetable that comes to our mind whenever we want to induce a natural red hue in our food. I really feel this humble veggie is quite underrated that way.

With vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential plant compounds and even medicinal properties, it is time that we start including beetroot in our food other than having it in just a salad form.

As I have already mentioned many a times in my previous posts that rice-based dishes, especially like a pulao or fried rice, are my go-to recipes. These are absolutely hassle free, get done in a one-pot set up and super delicious. What better way to bring the wholesome beetroot and rice together, than this Beetroot Rice recipe!

Beetroot Rice can be made quickly in a pressure cooker or in an Instant Pot. The only time that is taken in this dish is when the rice is getting soaked. But that’s actually the time, when you can prep up the rest of the ingredients by arranging, chopping or cutting them. You can also make this dish in a deep pan or pot.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Beetroot Rice

Prep Rice and Sauté Aromatics, Beetroot

1. Rinse 1 cup basmati rice very well in water. Then, soak in enough water for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain the rice and keep aside.

Instead of basmati rice, you can even use any other fragrant rice, regular or short-grained rice.

While the rice is soaking, prep beetroots, onions and the remaining herbs and spices. For the beets, first rinse them thoroughly. Then peel and finely chop them. You can also grate the beets.

basmati rice in a yellow bowl for making beetroot rice recipe.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pressure cooker. Keep the heat to a low or medium-low. Then, add the whole spices listed below:

  • 2 to 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 5 to 6 black peppers
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
adding whole spices to hot oil in pressure cooker.

3. The oil should be hot enough so that the mustard seeds crackle as soon as you add them in the oil. Keep the heat to low to medium-low, so that the other spices do not burn.

frying spices in hot oil for making beetroot rice.

4. Add ⅓ cup chopped onions and 7 to 8 curry leaves.

chopped onions and curry leaves added to the spices.

5. Stir and sauté till the onions start to become light golden. Stir the onions at regular intervals for even cooking.

sautéing onions in pressure cooker.

6. Then, add 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, 1 to 2 slit green chilies and ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves.

ginger-garlic paste, slit green chilies and chopped coriander leaves added to the onions.

7. Sauté for a few seconds till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

sautéing masala for making beetroot rice.

8. Now, add 1 cup finely chopped beetroot. Chop the beetroot finely. You can also grate it and add. Stir and sauté for a minute.

finely chopped beetroot added to the onion mixture.

9. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder and ½ teaspoon coriander powder. Stir well to mix.

The amount of spices can be altered as per your taste preferences.

spice powders added to the beetroot.

10. Add rice.

rice added to the beetroot mixture.

11. Stir gently and sauté for a minute.

sautéing beetroot-rice mixture.

Cook Beetroot Rice

12. Add 1.5 to 2 cups water. Depending on the type and quality of rice, you can add water. For basmati rice, you can add 1.5 to 1.75 cups of water. I added 1.5 cups of water.

water added to the pressure cooker.

13. Season with salt as required. Stir and mix. Taste the water and it should have a slightly salty taste.

adding salt to the beetroot rice.

14. Pressure cook on medium heat for 2 whistles or for 8 to 9 minutes. You can also cook the Beetroot Rice in a pan or pot. Then, add water accordingly. Cooking in a pan will take more time.

cooking beetroot rice.

15. When the pressure settles down naturally in the cooker, then only remove the lid. Gently fluff the rice using a fork and garnish with 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.

Serve Beetroot Rice hot or warm with a side vegetable salad, plain curd or raita variety like Onion Raita, Boondi Raita or Cucumber Raita.

For best taste, have it hot when it is freshly prepared. Once you reheat it, you won’t get the best taste.

beetroot rice garnished with coriander leaves and served in a white bowl.

Expert Tips

  1. If you do not have basmati rice particularly, use any other variety of fragrant rice. Even your regular or short grained rice is good for this recipe. The quantity of water is decided by the type of rice used.
  2. Ensure that the beetroot is chopped finely or grated is good too.
  3. You can easily alter the quantity of spices in this recipe.
  4. If you are choosing to cook this rice in a pot or pan, have some patience as it will take more time this way.
  5. The more, the better! Add some other vegetables like potatoes, carrot and green peas along with a small quantity of fresh greens like fenugreek or spinach if you like.
  6. The best way to relish this rice is to consume it freshly prepared. Once reheated, it won’t taste the same.
  7. Scaling this recipe to a double or triple is possible.

More Rice Varieties To Try!

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beetroot rice garnished with coriander leaves and served in a white bowl.

Beetroot Rice | Beetroot Pulao

This Beetroot Rice or Beetroot Pulao is a one pot dish that is slightly spicy with the sweetness of beetroot coming through in the spiced rice. Makes for an healthy and tasty lunch or dinner option.
4.80 from 15 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Cuisine South Indian
Course Main Course
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

Prepping rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice – 200 grams
  • water as required – for soaking rice

Whole spices to be fried

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 to 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 5 to 6 black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds

Remaining ingredients

  • cup chopped onions – 50 to 55 grams or 1 medium-sized
  • 7 to 8 curry leaves or 1 small to medium tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • 1 cup finely chopped beetroot – 125 grams or 2 small to medium beets
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste or ½ inch ginger + 3 to 4 small to medium garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 green chilies – slit
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder (or cayenne pepper or paprika)
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
  • 1.5 to 2 cups water or as needed – I added 1.5 cups water
  • salt as required
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves for garnish – cilantro leaves

Instructions
 

Prepping rice

  • Rinse basmati rice in water very well. Then soak the rice in enough water for 20 minutes. 
  • After 20 minutes, drain the water from the rice. Set the rice aside. Instead of basmati rice, you can even use any other fragrant rice or even regular or short grained rice.

Making beetroot rice

  • Heat oil in a 2 litre pressure cooker. Then add all the whole spices. 
  • The oil should be hot enough so that the mustard seeds crackle as soon as you add them in the oil.
    Do keep on a low to medium-low heat, so that the other spices do not get burnt.
  • Add chopped onions and curry leaves.
  • Stir and sauté till the onions start to become light golden.
  • Then add ginger-garlic paste, slit green chilies and ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves. 
  • Saute for a few seconds till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  • Now add finely chopped beetroot. Do chop the beetroot finely. You can also grate beetroots and then add. Stir and sauté for a minute.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder. Mix and stir well. Add the rice.
  • Stir gently and saute for a minute.

Cooking beetroot rice

  • Add 1.5 to 2 cups water. Depending on the type and quality of rice, you can add water.
    For basmati rice, you can add 1.5 to 1.75 cups of water. I added 1.5 cups water.
  • Season with salt as required. Stir and mix. Taste the water and it should have a slightly salty taste.
  • Pressure cook on a medium flame for 2 whistles or for 8 to 9 minutes. You can also cook this pulao in a pan or pot.
    If cooking in a pan then add the water accordingly. It will take more time to cook in a pot but you can make this recipe in a pot.
  • When the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid. Gently fluff the rice. 
  • Garnish with 2 tablespoons of the chopped coriander leaves. Serve beetroot rice with a side veggie salad or raita.
    It pairs well with any raita variety like boondi raita or cucumber raita or onion raita.

Notes

  • The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  • The amount of spices can be altered as per your taste.
  • If you want to add some more vegetables to this recipe, then I suggest adding green peas, potatoes and carrots. In greens, you can add a small amount of fenugreek or spinach leaves.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Beetroot Rice | Beetroot Pulao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 352 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Sodium 489mg21%
Potassium 290mg8%
Carbohydrates 58g19%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 268IU5%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.1mg7%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.1mg6%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 28mg140%
Vitamin B6 0.2mg10%
Vitamin C 53mg64%
Vitamin E 4mg27%
Vitamin K 7µg7%
Calcium 59mg6%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 334µg84%
Iron 2mg11%
Magnesium 37mg9%
Phosphorus 105mg11%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Beetroot Rice recipe post from the blog archives first published in November 2015 has been republished and updated on 20 August 2022.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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25 Comments

  1. Thank you for this healthy recipe and a tasty one, added beet root in my weekly veggie shopping

  2. Tried this recipe on rose day for gf. She’s still in the ICU… Turns out she’s allergic to beetroot.

  3. Great Recipe!! Tried this at home and did not think it will come out well. I had a lot of doubts but mainly whether the color of beets will overpower the rice.
    The rice and beets got cooked to perfection and the taste was just right; spicy with bursts of sweetness from the beets coming in. This was perfect with a cooling boondi raita!!
    Its a regular and often requested recipe at home now 🙂4 stars

    1. Thanks Abhishek for this awesome feedback on beetroot rice. Yes this recipe has balance spiciness and sweetness. Glad to know that you liked it.

  4. Tried it in home as a surprise for mom. Came very well and my mom enjoyed it. Thank u!! ????????5 stars

  5. Hello…I just love all your recipes ..U make cooking so simple ???? for me.
    Could you pls upload recipe for veg rissoto…
    Thank you5 stars

    1. Welcome Shruti. Thanks for your positive feedback. I will try to add this recipe.

  6. Another one of your recipes done wonders for me ! Thank you again and always!5 stars

  7. I made it today…It turned out awesome…evryone liked it..Thank you so much for ur recipes …All of ur recipes r too good.

  8. It turned out to be yum. I added diced babycorns and it goes quite well in this rice (sweetcorn can also complement well here).. However the color of my rice was nowhere near to the pink beetroot color. It was orangish. Please let me know what can be done.5 stars

    1. thankyou nandita glad you liked the beetroot rice surprisingly beet should impart red color don’t know how it’s given orange color. it’s okay just eat the rice the way it is as adding additional color is not preferable. hope this help’ you.

  9. I follow your site regularly. Made this beetroot pulav for breakfast today and I must say it was too good. Added one potato and pigeon peas (togari kaalu in Kannada) also.4 stars

    1. glad to know this megha 🙂 thankyou for sharing your input and for writing to us.

  10. Could you please write a post on the kind of ovens you use (convection and otg). Because I own a convection oven and all my baking attempts have been a disaster. The cakes brown from the outside but in the centre they are doughy. Please please.

    1. i plan to do so. what i suggest is that bake at a lower temperature than what is mentioned in the recipe, about 15 to 20 degrees celsius lower. also while baking, cover the bread or cake with aluminium foil or butter paper. this way the top does not get browned too quickly. towards the end then you can remove the foil or butter paper and brown the top for some minutes.