Veg Pulao or Vegetable Pulao Recipe - A healthy, comforting and mildly spiced one pot rice dish that is easy to cook and absolutely delicious.
A melange of mixed vegetables, spices and aromatic rice - a perfect comfort meal to relish on.
Learn to make this tasty pulao on stove top and in the Instant Pot in straight 30 minutes.
What is pulao?
Pulao or Pilaff or Pulav - It is basically a one pot dish of rice cooked either with vegetables, or meat or seafood in whole spices and herbs.
Occasionally, the whole dish is sometimes brought together using vegetable or meat stock instead of water. It is a fragrant, light, and stunningly delicious.
There are different variety of pulao dishes that are actually popular in India, be it savoury or sweet.
Though, the preparation of the pulao recipes differs in every Indian homes. But the outcome of the cooked dish is always delightful.
About the recipe
Vegetable pulao is delicious rice dish made with vegetables, mild spices and herbs. A true comfort food!
It is not only very simple to cook, but also very tasty.
This vegetable pulao recipe is
- Healthy and tasty
- Gluten Free
- One pot dish
- Can be made vegan (replace milk with plant based milk like almond milk or coconut milk and skip ghee)
Significantly, the pairing of the pulao is best with yogurt cucumber raita, salad, pickle and papad on the side.
Did I tell you that you are absolutely good to go for this vegetable pulao as an office lunch or for a school lunch box?
Yes, that's the best and quick fulfilling meal idea for lunch or snack boxes. This pulao is a great idea to slink veggies in your kids diet.
At the same time, this pulao works like a charm for regular as well as the special meals or get togethers.
Not to forget, it genuinely requires less preparations and it is ridiculously easy to cook.
It would not at all be wrong to say that anyone can bring this veg pulao recipe together easily anywhere in the world.
There are days, when you really want to devour something light, healthy, filling and delicious. Then, this rice pulav does the perfect justice to your mood.
Rice - Usually, I prefer to cook pulao using long grain rice. So, fragrant basmati rice is the only choice. 🙂
But, you are free to use the rice of your choice. Be sure to adjust the water ratio accordingly, if are using the other rice variety for this recipe.
Mixed Vegetables - I have added, cauliflower, peas, carrots, beans and potatoes to this veg pulao dish.
But, go easy on adding vegetables of your choice. If you like it, then opt to add corn kernels for more crunch.
Whole spices - Bay leaves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, star anise, green cardamom, cloves, black pepper corn and a blade of mace.
Apart from the other whole spices, fennel seeds and mace gives nice aroma to the pulao. Ensure adding the two while cooking the rice pulao.
Milk - I prefer adding little milk to the pulao for richer flavor. But, if you wish to make vegan pulao recipe, then go on ahead with adding little coconut milk or almond milk to it. Or, skip using it.
Other ingredients - Garam masala powder, little crushed nutmeg, ginger garlic paste, green chilies, sliced onions, ghee or oil, lemon juice, salt and water.
So, do you really find it hard to gather these ingredients?
I am sure, not! Because, you will easily find these in nearly every home.
So, guys, what are you waiting for?
Go and gather all of the items, start whipping it up. But before that, quickly go through the tips and the notes below.
Helpful tips and notes
The use of long fragrant basmati rice is always best to make pulav. The fluffy and separated rice grains makes the dish look more appealing.
Always, clean, wash the rice well until the water runs clear.
Be sure to always soak the rice for 30 minutes before cooking. (15 minutes for pressure cooker or instant pot version)
Always, strain the soaked rice and leave it in the strainer for 5 minutes.
Once the veg pulao is cooked, always, allow it to rest for 5-7 minutes before fluffing it with the ladle or fork.
Personally, I love to cook pulao in ghee. But, you can use either ghee or oil or a mix of both.
Consider adding milk to the pulav for the flavors to stand out. Planning to make the dish vegan? Then, skip using ghee and dairy milk and go on ahead with plant based oil and milk.
You can always adjust the spices and chilies as per your taste.
For more intense flavor and taste, use vegetable stock, instead of water.
You can add little green chutney and red chilli powder to make spicy vegetable pulao.
The side dishes that you can serve with this pulav are like any salan or shorba (masala gravy). It also pairs best even with chicken curry or kababs like tangdi kabab, chicken fry or tandoori chicken.
How to cook it in pressure cooker?
To make veg pulao recipe in pressure cooker, follow all the steps exactly like how it is mentioned for instant pot version.
The only difference will be the ratio of rice to water. Remember to add 1.5 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. And, then pressure cook upto 1 whistle on high heat.
Once the cooking gets over, let the pressure to release naturally. Open the lid of the cooker and fluff the rice using fork or ladle.
Step by step photos
To begin with, First, clean, wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain the rice and leave it in a strainer, set it aside.
Now, heat ghee or oil or a mix of both in a heavy bottom pan. Add fennel seeds, cumin, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves, green cardamom, cloves, mace blade and black pepper corns, fry for few seconds. (photo 1)
Then, add sliced onions and fry on medium flame until soft and just starts picking golden color. Do not over brown or burn them. (photo 2)
Now, add ginger garlic paste, fry for 30 seconds or until raw smell goes off. (photo 3)
Add potato chunks and fry for 2-3 minutes. (photo 4)
Then, add cauliflower, peas, carrot, beans and green chillies, sauté for a minute. Add garam masala powder, salt and nutmeg powder, mix well and sauté for 30 seconds. (photo 5)
Add ½ cup milk, mix and cook for a minute. (photo 6)
Now, add soaked and strained rice and gently fry for 3o seconds. (photo 7 and 8)
Then, add 3 cups of water, lemon juice and bring it to a boil. (photo 9)
Now, cover and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked. (photo 10)
Let it rest for 5-7 minutes. Fluff up the rice using fork or ladle, sprinkle fried onions. Dosh out and serve with raita of your choice (photo 11 and 12)
Making it in Instant Pot
To start off with, clean wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, strain the rice in a colander and set it aside. Switch on the sauté mode of the IP.
Heat ghee, oil or a mix of both. Add all the whole spices - fennel seeds, cumin, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves, green cardamom, cloves, mace blade and black pepper corns, fry for 30 seconds. (photo 1)
Then, add sliced onions and fry until it starts picking golden color. (photo 2)
Add ginger paste and garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds. (photo 3)
Now, add potato chunks and sauté for a minute. (photo 4)
Add all the vegetables, green chilies and sauté for 30 seconds. Followed by garam masala powder, salt, and nutmeg powder, mix well. (photo 5 and 6)
Add ½ cup of milk and mix. (photo 7)
Now, add soaked and strained rice and mix. (photo 8)
Add 1.75 cup of water, lemon juice and mix. (photo 9)
Close the pot with lid, press manual/pressure cook mode, place the pressure valve in sealing position. Set the cooking time to 6 minutes on 'low pressure'. (photo 10)
Once the IP beeps, allow the NPR for 5 minutes and then do the quick release (manually). (photo 11)
Fluff the rice gently using fork or ladle. Instant pot pulao is ready to serve. Garnish with fried onions, coriander leaves and serve. (photo 12)
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Veg Pulao Recipe
- 2 cups Long Grain Basmati Rice
- 3 tablespoons Ghee or Oil
- 1 Onion (large sized, finely sliced)
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Paste
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Paste
- ½ cup Potato (cut in cubes)
- ½ cup Cauliflower Florets
- ¼ cup Green Peas
- ¼ cup Carrot (cut in cubes)
- ¼ cup Beans (cut in 1 inch length)
- 3 - 4 Green Chilies (slit)
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg (powdered or grated)
- Salt To Taste
- ½ cup Milk (coconut milk or almond milk for vegan version)
- Water as needed
- ½ teaspoon Lemon juice
Whole spices for pulao
- 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks ((1 inch each))
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 3 - 4 Green Cardamom
- 4 - 5 Cloves
- A Blade of Mace
- 6 - 8 Black peppercorns
- Coriander Leaves (chopped)
- Fried or Caramalised Onions (optional)
How to make vegetable pulao in pot on stove top
- Clean, wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain the rice and leave it in a strainer. Set it aside.
- Heat oil or ghee or a mix of both in a heavy bottom pan. Add all the whole spices (fennel seeds, cumin, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves, green cardamom, cloves, mace blade and black pepper corns). Sauté for few seconds.
- Add sliced onions and fry until soft and just starts picking golden color. Do not over brown or burn them. Add ginger paste and garlic paste, fry for 30 seconds.
- Add potato chunks and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add cauliflower, peas, carrot, beans and green chilies, sauté for a minute.
- Add garam masala powder, salt and nutmeg powder, mix well and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add 1 cup milk, mix and cook for a minute. Now, add soaked and strained rice and gently fry for 30 seconds. Add 3 cups of water, lemon juice and bring it to a boil.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes or until cooked. Switch off the heat and let it rest for 5-7 minutes.
- Fluff up the rice using fork or ladle, sprinkle fried onions, veg pulao is ready to serve.
How to make vegetable pulao in Instant Pot
- Clean wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, strain the rice in a colander and set it aside.
- Switch on the sauté mode of an IP. Heat ghee, oil or a mix of both. Add all the whole spices and sauté for few seconds.
- Add sliced onions and fry until it starts picking golden color. Now, add ginger paste and garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add potato chunks and sauté for a minute. Add all the vegetables, green chilies and sauté for 30 seconds. Followed by garam masala powder, salt, and nutmeg powder, mix well.
- Add ½ cup of milk and mix. Now, add soaked and strained rice and mix. Add 1.75 cup of water, lemon juice and mix.
- Immediately close the pot with lid and press manual/pressure cook mode. Place the pressure valve in sealing position. Cook the pulao on 'low pressure' for 6 minutes.
- Once the IP beeps, allow the NPR for 5 minutes. Then do the quick release (manually).
- Fluff the rice gently using fork or ladle. Instant pot veg pulao is ready to serve. Garnish with fried onions, coriander leaves and serve.
- This rice recipe was made using Instant Pot DUO60 6 qt. I prefer making rice recipes on low pressure as it avoids giving ‘Burn’ message when cooked on high pressure in newer IP models.
- Low pressure rice cooking gives me perfect cooked rice with every grain separated each time. You can follow the ‘High’ or ‘Low’ pressure cooking as per the model of IP you own.
- Use the same measuring cup to measure both, rice as well as water.
- Modify the chilies and spice level as per to suit to your taste.