Paneer Pulao is a healthy and delicious rice dish that can be made under 30 minutes and makes for a great lunch box option. Here is how to make it.
About This Recipe
Paneer Pulao is an absolute lip-smacking main course meal that is made by roasting large paneer cubes in ghee and then cooking them with rice.
Among the variety of dishes that can be made with rice, paneer pulao is the easiest rice recipe you can even try your hands on. It is a one-pot meal which is healthy, delicious, and easy to make.
The roasted paneer cubes coated with fluffy rice and flavored with a lot of aromatic spices are a heavenly combination to indulge ourselves in.
Paneer cubes roasted nicely in pure desi ghee not only adds to the nutritive value of the pulao but also enhances the overall look of the dish.
Adding some finely chopped vegetables of your choice makes the pulao a lot more delicious and healthier.
Make this delectable dish in your next get together party or for your office or for your kid’s lunch box and see how your loved ones would not stop thanking you enough for tantalizing their taste buds.
This pulao is,
- High in Protein
- Filled with the goodness of veggies
- Easy to make
- Apt for weekday meals
Rice – You can opt for Long Grain Basmati Rice to make this Pulao. They are very aromatic and turns out nice and fluffy.
Paneer – This is the key ingredient, that gives this Pulao a rich touch. Also, it is high in protein, so good to include it in everyday meals. You can make Paneer at home or even use the store-bought one.
Vegetables – Along with Paneer, you can also add some onions, carrot, and peas, just like I have added. You can add more vegetables of your choice to make it wholesome and nutritious.
Whole Spices – As we are not using any spice powders in this recipe, it gets its taste from whole spices such as cumin seeds, bay leaf, black pepper, cinnamon, green cardamom, and black cardamom.
Mint and Coriander Leaves – Along with a hint of freshness, it also adds a nice color to the Pulao.
Other Ingredients – We will also require oil, ghee, green chilies, ginger-garlic paste, salt, water, and garam masala powder.
Step by Step Recipe
Heat oil in a pan.
Add paneer cubes and fry until browned from all the sides. Remove them on a plate and keep aside.
Add ghee in the same pan.
Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds, bay leaf, black pepper, cinnamon, green cardamom and black cardamom and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add green chillies and ginger garlic paste and fry for a few seconds.
Add onion and fry until they turn golden brown.
Now add carrot and peas and cook for minute.
Add the fried paneer pieces, salt, garam masala powder, water, coriander and mint and mix everything gently.
Cover the lid of the pan and cook the pulao on low heat until rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed.
Remove the pan from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Fluff the pulao using a fork. Serve hot with a raita.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make paneer pulao in a pressure cooker as well.
Just follow the steps given below in a pressure cooker rather than in a kadhai or a pan and cook the rice for about 1 whistle on high flame and then one whistle on low flame.
Remove the pressure cooker from heat immediately and let the pressure release naturally.
Make sure to use fresh and soft paneer as it tends to get a little harder and chewy when cooked in a pressure cooker.
In order to make an even healthier version of paneer pulao, you can always use brown rice instead of white rice.
Just replace white rice with brown rice, increase the amount of water to 2 and 1/2 cups and rest the entire procedure and all the measurements are exactly the same.
Paneer Pulao is a lightly spiced Pulao, whereas Paneer Biryani has a lot of spices and is spicy. While Paneer Pulao just takes 20-30 minutes to get ready, Paneer Biryani takes a lot more time to prepare.
Paneer Pulao is a one-pot meal, whereas Paneer Biryani has layers and is cooked differently before combining it into one dish.
You can add Carrot, Green Peas, Corn Kernels, Baby Corn, Mushrooms, Beans, Cauliflower, Broccoli, etc.
Just like Brown Rice, you can use Broken Wheat, Couscous, Quinoa, etc, but make sure that the water ratio will be different in each of them and cooking time too.
This Pulao lasts in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days, when stored properly in an airtight container. Reheat it properly in a pan or in the microwave before serving.
If you feel the Pulao has become a little dry, you can sprinkle a little water on top while reheating.
Paneer Pulao can be served on its own with a side of Raita such as Boondi Raita, Cucumber Raita, Palak Raita, Burani Raita, or any Raita of your choice.
Paneer Tikka Pulao – To make it a lot more flavorful, you can convert it into a Paneer Tikka Pulao.
Just marinate paneer cubes in a nice mixture of hung curd and some spice powders for ½ an hour and then roast them and add them into the pulao.
Achari – If you are also a pickle fan like I am, then you would also love giving an achari twist to your paneer pulao as I do.
Add 2 tsp of my homemade Achari Masala in the pulao along with 2 tsp of oil from the mango pickle.
Add it while cooking vegetables for the pulao and mix it nicely along with the rice.
This is how you can give an amazing achari twist to your regular paneer pulao.
Tawa – Just add in some Pav Bhaji masala along with other spice powders to make this Pulao spicy.
With Palak – Add 1/4 cup of spinach puree in the rice while cooking and make Palak Paneer Pulao.
Other Variations – You can add corn, matar or peas, sautéed mushroom, methi, aloo, etc to this pulao for a change in taste.
Replace rice with quinoa for a healthier version.
You can even replace water with coconut milk for a very flavourful pulao.
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Paneer Pulao Recipe
- 1 cup Long Grain Basmati Rice
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 200 g Paneer (Cut into cubes)
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 3-4 Black Peppercorns
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 2 Green Cardamom
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 2-3 Green Chillies
- 2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 cup Onion (Thinly Sliced)
- 1/2 cup Carrot (Cubed)
- 1/2 cup Peas
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 2 cups Water
- 1 tbsp Fresh Coriander (Chopped)
- 1 tbsp Mint (Chopped)
- Wash the rice and soak in water for 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Add paneer cubes and fry until browned from all the sides.
- Remove them on a plate and keep aside.
- Add ghee in the same pan.
- Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds, bay leaf, black pepper, cinnamon, green cardamom and black cardamom and let them crackle for a few seconds.
- Add green chillies and ginger garlic paste and fry for a few seconds.
- Add onion and fry until they turn golden brown.
- Now add carrot and peas and cook for minute
- Add the fried paneer pieces, salt, garam masala powder, water, coriander and mint and mix everything gently.
- Drain the rice and add it in the pan and stir gently.
- Cover the lid of the pan and cook the pulao on low heat until rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed.
- Remove the pan from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Fluff the pulao using a fork.
- Serve hot with a raita.