February 15, 2012

Beetroot Biriyani/Pulao with Black Beans Raita


My mom always has had rave reviews about this particular kind of rice called "Seeraga Samba."
She tells me that this rice has a very aromatic quality to it just like basmati rice and is also very flavorful. It is extremely cute to look at, kind of like baby basmati.
If you are not able to find this at your store under the name of "Seeraga Samba" or "Kalijira", you could use the regular white basmati rice. It shouldn't make that big of a difference. The grated beets add a lovely pinkish red hue to the rice grains. I tried not to add any other vegetable just to keep the color intact.
It looks beautiful when it is done, like the tiny grains just blushed!

The raita was something I decided to make with the pulao when I started planning this meal. Keeping the beans crunchy is key to making this raita. Mushy beans and yogurt is not what I would recommend. Finish off with some cilantro for some fresh flavor.


Beetroot Biriyani/Pulao with Black Beans Raita

Beetroot Biriyani/Pulao:


Seeraga Samba rice - 2cups
Water - 3 cups
Clove - 3
Cinnamon stick - 2-3
Cardamom Pod - 3
Star Anise - 1
Beetroot - 2 cups (grated and packed)
Shallots/Onions - 1 cup chopped
Tomato - 1/2 cup chopped
Chilly powder - 2 tsp (or to taste)
Green chillies - 2 small slit
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp
Grind to a paste:
Garlic - 6-8 pods
Ginger - 2 tbsp roughly chopped
Shallots - 2 tbsp roughly chopped
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tbsp


Grind the ginger, garlic, shallots and fennel seeds to a paste and set aside. Do not add water.

In a large pan, add 2 tbsp oil, and add the washed and thoroughly drained rice. Sauté till the grains turn opaque. Turn off heat and cool. At this point I add the rice to the rice cooker and use the same pan for making the masala.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in the same pan, add the cloves, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and green chillies.
Add the ground ginger-garlic paste and sauté well till the raw smell is gone.
Then add the chopped shallots, followed by the tomatoes. Once they are halfway cooked, add the grated beets and mix well. Allow to cook till the beets soften. Finish off with salt and chilly powder.

Now add this beets masala to the rice. Add 3 cups of water, and let the rice cooker do its thing. If you are using a pressure cooker, cook for about 20 minutes or two whistles. Do not overmix after it is done.



Black Beans Raita:



Dried Black Beans - 1 cup
Yogurt - 1 cup
Shallots - 1/2 cup
Cilantro/Coriander - 1/4 cup chopped
Salt - to taste


Soak the black beans overnight in some water. Pressure cook the beans for about 15 min or 2 whistles depending on your cooker. It should not get mushy, it should still have a bite to it.
Drain water, rinse with cold water till the water runs clear.
Add yogurt, shallots, cilantro, salt and mix well. Garnish with a little more chopped cilantro and serve with biriyani or any kind of rice.



  1. Slurrp! I am tempted to cook this at home. Such a lovely color of Biriyani.

  2. Wow...love the combo of both biryani and raita...beets biryani looks vibrant...that raita is something very new to me...

  3. Your mom is right.Seeraga Samba is very flavorful Raita sounds interesting and nice combo with beetroot biriyani

  4. Wonderful! Loved the clicks and the vessel u have served the biryani, i too have a similar one! :)
    The raita sounds unique and tempting me a lot to taste!

  5. Hi Anu....Love the idea of Black Bean Raitha....Where did you find Seeraga Samba Rice in US? If you dont mind can you let me know.

  6. Love the idea of this raita. Bee biryani is a staple at our home, we just love this dish!

  7. Awesome meal Divya! Veggies and beans, perfectly balanced, not to mention the yummy factor :) Will definitely try this one

  8. Hi,

    Are those two whistles in high?


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Happy cooking/baking or whatever it is you are doing in the kitchen! :)