1cupheaped basmati riceor 200 grams basmati rice, soaked in enough water for 30 minutes
1.75 to 2cupswater(do add water depending on the quality of basmati rice)
salt as required
1 to 2tablespoonchopped coriander leaves for garnish(cilantro leaves)
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 the water again.
Add the rinsed rajma to a 2 litre stovetop pressure cooker along with 2 cups of water. You can also add ¼ teaspoon 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 on its own in the cooker, then only remove the lid. Strain the rajma. Keep aside.
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 20 to 30 minutes. After 20 to 30 minutes strain the rice of all the water and keep aside.
preparing ginger+garlic+green chili paste
In a mortar-pestle take roughly chopped ginger, roughly chopped garlic cloves and chopped green chilies.
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 stovetop pressure cooker in which we cooked rajma beans, with water and then keep again on stove top. Add oil.
When the oil becomes hot, lower the heat and add these whole spices - tej patta, cloves, green cardamoms, black cardamom, cinnamon and cumin seeds.
Let the spices crackle.
Now add thinly sliced onions. On a low to medium heat, begin sauteing the onions. Saute the onions stirring often till they start to become golden.
Now add the crushed ginger+garlic+green chilli paste along with 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 turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder. Stir and mix well.
Add the soaked rice. Season with salt as required.
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 lemon juice and stir again.
Cover and pressure cook the pulao on a medium to high heat for 2 to 3 whistles or 8 to 9 minutes.
When the pressure comes down on its own, then only 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.
The aged basmati rice will give the best texture and taste. However you can opt to make this recipe with any non-sticky variety of rice.
Use fresh kidney beans as it is the star ingredient in this dish. The aged kidney beans take a lot of time to cook. So ensure that the kidney beans you are using are in their shelf period.
Also soak the kidney beans for 8 to 9 hours so that they cook faster.
This recipe can be scaled to make a big batch.
If you want to make this rajma pulao in an Instant pot then first cook the rajma in the Instant pot adding water as needed. Then adapt the same recipe with the Instant pot functions.
- 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.