Lunchbreak: Beef Pulao with Cucumber Raita


Sruthi Swaminathan – Neuroscientist, freelance communications consultant, chef, and writer


Beef pulao with cucumber raita


For the pulao:

  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 medium red onions, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cups Basmati rice
  • 3 cups water

For the raita:

  • 2 cups yogurt
  • ¼ medium onion, diced
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


For the pulao:

Heat oil in large pot on medium heat. Saute onions until translucent, then add ginger and garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add beef to the pan and break up using a spatula. Cook until meat is browned, but not cooked all the way through. Next add the mixed veggies and spices and stir well. Cook covered and stir occasionally until veggies and beef are cooked through. Cook rice in 3 cups water using your preferred method and add to the meat-veggie mixture oven. Mix well and serve hot with cold raita on the side.

For the raita:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pulao for a cooling effect to the warm spices.


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