Vegetable pulao recipe: there are many different ways to make and customise a simple vegetable pulao recipe and I have tried my own variations over the years too. A pulao should be simple, flavourful, have a good amount of vegetables (that’s why it’s called a vegetable pulao after all!), and also have a subtle hint of spices. And no matter what, I do not like to bite into whole pieces of cloves and cardamom when eating pulao or biryani. So I either pound them well before adding or remove them once the pulao is cooked. Painstaking, but worth it.
When I made Palak Paneer the other day to share the recipe here, I made my go-to easy Veg Pulav to pair with it. I didn’t intend to share the recipe of the pulao here but a lot of you commented, emailed, and asked me on the FB page what that rice dish is and how to make it. This is the main rice dish I make when I spend some extra time making a side dish for pulao like Lauki Kofta Curry or Paneer Butter Masala or Soya Chunks Masala.
I feel like two things are important for this pulao recipe. One, you need to get the right consistency for the rice. Here’s how I cook rice for pulao. Two, the spices need to be the right amount and this differs from taste bud to taste bud. If you prefer your pulao very light, add lesser amount of spices that I have mentioned below in the ingredients.
I love adding green chillies to vegetable pulao since it gives a nice flavour but you can substitute with red chilli powder in a pinch, literally! Also, here’s a pressure cooker vegetable pulao recipe if you’d like to make it in one pot.
Vegetable Pulao Recipe
- 2 cups of cooked rice
- 1 carrot
- 10-12 beans
- 1 capsicum / bell pepper
- 3-4 green chillies slit
- 1 large onion
- 1 piece of cinnamon
- 3-4 green cardamom lightly crushed
- 3-4 cloves
- 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- 2-3 tsp of salt
- A small bunch of coriander leaves / cilantro for garnish
- 2 tbsp of ghee or oil
- Slice the onions long and shred the carrot, beans, and capsicum
- Cook the rice for pulao and set aside
- Heat the ghee or oil in a wide pan and add the sliced onions
- When the onions begin to brown, add the cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom
- Stir fry until the onions turn a darker shade of brown
- Add the minced garlic and fry for another few seconds
- Add the shredded vegetables and green chillies and mix well with salt
- Cook on a low flame, covered, until the vegetables are soft
- Mix in the rice and garnish with chopped coriander leaves
- Turn off flame and keep partially covered until ready to serve
Step by Step Pictures for Making Vegetable Pulao:
1. Cook rice and set aside. Slice the onions and shred the vegetables fine
2. Heat ghee or oil in a pan and add the onions and cumin seeds.
3. When they are slightly browned, add the cinnamon, cloves, and crushed cardamom. Stir and fry for another few seconds until fragrant and the onions turn a darker brown
4. Add the minced garlic and fry for a few more seconds.
5. Throw in the shredded vegetables, chillies and salt. Mix well, lower flame, and cook covered for about 5 mins until the vegetables are soft
6. Gently mix in the cooked rice.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves and keep partially covered for the flavours to mingle until ready to serve.
- Store leftover pulao in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. To re-heat, either microwave with some sprinkled water or in a pan over a slow flame
- If you prefer large chunks of crunchy vegetables in your veg pulao, you can chop them larger. Just cook longer until they are done
- I remove the whole spices before serving because we hate biting into whole spices in rice
- You can throw in a bay leaf with the other spices if you wish
- You can make vegetable pulao in a pressure cooker or rice cooker. I prefer this method to make mixed rice because I feel more in control. I also prefer the rice grains very separated which is hard to achieve in a pressure cooker (in my experience). My rice cooker does a good job though so will update veg pulao made in rice cooker soon
- I do most of the fine chopping in an electric chopper which works like a charm for mincing and shredding
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