Lima Bean Biryani

This is another one of my crazy kitchen sink recipes. Kitchen sink recipes are ones I have no plan or recipe for. I just make it up as I go along, with whatever ingredients I have at that moment. Most of the times it works well and the times it doesn’t, you don’t hear about it!

I love lima beans and I think these classic flavors go very well together and jazz up the usually challenging lima beans. It’s just another way of using the yummy beans.

2 cups lima beans, thawed ( I used frozen)
2 cups basmati rice
1 large white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large red tomato, roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
1″ piece ginger, peeled
3 serrano chillies, roughly chopped ( I use the whole peppers. Feel free to adjust this as you please)
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder ( Optional: don’t let not having this ingredient discourage you from trying this recipe!)
1tbsp + 1tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
3 tbsp canola oil

In a blender, add garlic, ginger, serrano chillies, cilantro, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, coriander seeds, 1 tsp salt, tomato and onions. Blend this mixture together, with no added water. The watery tomatoes yield just enough. Make this into a smooth paste and set aside.


Heat a large wide non-stick pan over medium heat with canola oil. Add the remaining 1 tsp cumin seeds  and asafoetida powder. As I mentioned above, asafoetida is one of those things that not every one may have available. But don’t let not having  this one ingredient discourage you  from making the dish. It will taste great either way.

When the cumin seeds start spluttering, remove the pan from heat and  add the blended mixture. Doing it on heat will make a mess, there will spluttering. Make sure you reduce the heat to low before returning the  pan to heat. Cook over low heat partially covered for 20-25 minutes,  stirring every 5 minutes. This will remove the raw smell from the  onion and spices and give room for all the flavors to meld together. Your kitchen must smell heavenly just about now!


Add the lima beans, the measured water and remaining tsp of salt. Increase the heat to medium high and cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes. Add the basmati rice, mix and let it come to a boil.


Just when it comes to a boil, cover and drop the heat to low. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the rice is perfectly done. Remove and gently fold or fluff using a spatula. Do not over mix or the rice will break and become mushy.

Garnish with cilantro and serve this dish hot with a cup of cool raita.


  1. Love your step by step recipes and so good to see you back. we like Lima beans at home both fresh and frozen and i add it to pulav as well. Will keep this recipe in mind the next time around.


  2. Hey..I tried this recipe..It turned out yummy.Hearty and healthy..:)..I added some mint as well..



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