rajma pulao recipe, rajma rice
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4.6 from 5 votes

Rajma Pulao

Aromatic spiced rice pulao made with kidney beans, herbs and spices.
Prep Time9 hrs
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time9 hrs 35 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: north indian
Servings: 2 to 3
Author: Dassana Amit


For cooking rajma

  • ½ cup Rajma (kidney beans) or 90 to 100 grams rajma
  • 2 cups Water For pressure cooking
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt (optional)

Whole spices

  • 1 Small to medium tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 3 Cloves
  • 2 to 3 Green cardamoms
  • 1 Black cardamom
  • ½ inch Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds - shah jeera also can be added instead of cumin seeds

To be crushed to a paste

  • 1 inch Ginger Or 8 grams ginger
  • 6 to 7 Garlic cloves Or 7 to 8 grams garlic cloves
  • 1 or 2 Green chilies, Chopped

Other ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 Medium onion, Thinly sliced or ⅓ cup thinly sliced onions or 60 grams onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves)
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • ½ teaspoon Red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander powder (ground coriander)
  • 1 cup Heaped basmati rice Or 200 grams basmati rice, soaked in enough water for 30 minutes
  • 1.75 to 2 cups Water (do add water depending on the quality of basmati rice)
  • ½ teaspoon Lemon juice
  • Salt as required
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon Chopped coriander leaves for garnish (cilantro leaves)


cooking rajma

  • A night before or for 8 to 9 hours, rinse ½ cup rajma a couple of times and then soak in water.
  • The next day, discard the soaked water. Then rinse the rajma beans again very well in running water. Drain.
  • Add the rinsed rajma to a pressure cooker along with 2 cups of water. You can also add ¼ tsp salt if you want.
  • Pressure cook for 15 to 20 whistles or for 12 to 17 minutes. First I cooked rajma beans for 15 whistles and found that the beans were still uncooked from the center. So I pressure cooked for 5 whistles more. 
  • Rajma has to be cooked very well. There should be no rawness or bite in the rajma. Pressure cooking time will vary depending on quality of rajma.
  • When the pressure settles down in the cooker, then remove the lid. Strain the rajma. Keep aside.

soaking rice

  • Before you keep the rajma for cooking, rinse 1 heaped cup basmati rice very well in water till the water runs clear of starch. 
  • Then soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes strain the rice of all the water and keep aside.

preparing ginger+garlic+green chili paste

  • In a mortar-pestle take 1 inch ginger (roughly chopped), 6 to 7 garlic cloves (roughly chopped) and 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped.
  • Crush to a coarse paste. You can also use a small grinder to make this paste. Keep aside.
  • Thinly slice one medium onion. Also chop coriander leaves and keep aside.

making rajma pulao

  • Just rinse the same pressure cooker in which we cooked rajma beans, with water and then keep again on stove top. Add 3 tbsp oil. 
  • When the oil becomes hot, lower the flame and add these whole spices - 1 small to medium tej patta, 3 cloves, 2 to 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, ½ inch cinnamon and ½ tsp cumin seeds.
  • Let the spices crackle.
  • Now add 1/3 cup thinly sliced onions. On a low to medium flame, begin sauteing the onions. Saute the onions till they start to become golden.
  • Now add the crushed ginger+garlic+green chilli paste along with ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves.
  • Stir and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away. This takes a few seconds.
  • Add the cooked rajma beans.
  • Next add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp red chili powder and ½ tsp coriander powder. Mix well.
  • Add the rice. Season with salt.
  • Gently stir and mix the rice and salt with the rest of the ingredients.

cooking rajma pulao

  • Now add 2 cups water. You can add 1.75 cups to 2 cups of water. Do add water depending on the quality of basmati rice.
  • Lastly add ½ tsp lemon juice.
  • Cover and pressure cook the pulao on a medium to high flame for 2 to 3 whistles or 8 to 9 minutes.
  • When the pressure comes down on its own, open the lid and gently fluff the pulao.
  • Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and serve rajma pulao hot with your favorite raita or salad or pickle.


- for cooking kidney beans in a pot or pan:
Take a deep bottomed pan or pot. Add 2.5 to 3 cups of water along with the kidney beans. Cover the pan and on a medium to high flame cook the beans. If required add more hot water.
- for cooking pulao in a pot.
Add 2 cups water. On a low to medium flame, cover and cook till rice is done.