This restaurant-style Veg Pulao is a delicious medley of rice, spices, and vegetables. Also known as Vegetable Pulao Pulav or Indian Pulao, this North Indian dish is very simple and easy to make and pairs perfectly with any raita or curry of your choice.
About This Recipe
There are often days when we are looking for simple, one-pot comfort food that’s quick to make and good to eat. For me, this Veg Pulao fits the bill perfectly on such days. You can also make this on occasion when you have guests over.
Pulao is a fragrant Indian Style Rice dish where rice is cooked with spices and vegetables.
This is loaded with lots of vegetables and the best part is you can add any vegetables you want to make this Pulao delicious and wholesome. A great way to use those leftover vegetables sitting in your fridge, right?
To cook this recipe, you just need a few minutes. Rice, onion, spices, and a sprinkling of fresh green coriander makes this dish irresistible.
The whole spices used in this pulao lend it an aromatic and distinct flavor. This Vegetable Pulao can be paired with any raita of your choice. You can make this pulao recipe in a pressure cooker as well to save on time. Also, double or triple the recipe according to your needs.
You can even pack this Veg Pulao in your Kid’s Lunch Box or even in your Office Lunch Box on its own or along with a raita of your choice.
This Restaurant Style Vegetable Pulao is,
- Easy to make
- One-pot meals
- Loaded with vegetables
- Perfect for weekdays
Rice – I have used long grain basmati rice for this pulao, as it turns out aromatic and fluffy. You can use any rice of your choice or can go for other alternatives such as brown rice, quinoa, broken wheat, or even couscous.
Vegetables – You can add as many veggies as you want in this Pulao. I like to add potatoes, beans, cauliflower, carrot, and peas, but you can go ahead and add in anything you want.
Whole Spices – We will add in some whole spices in the hot oil to release the flavor that complements the pulao really well. We will need cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, black cardamom, green cardamom, and bay leaves. Just crush them a little in mortal pestle before adding in the hot oil for the best flavor.
Ghee – I always prefer to make Vegetable Pulao in ghee, it enhances the taste of the pulao even more. But if you do not prefer ghee, you can add in vegetable oil or olive oil too.
Garam Masala Powder – When it comes to spices, we will add in only garam masala powder, which gives it a subtle yet unique flavor.
You can either use the store bought one or make the garam masala powder at home.
Others – Other than the above ingredients, we will just need ginger, garlic, green chilies, salt, and lemon juice.
You can adjust the amount of green chilies as per your taste. If making for kids, you can skip adding it too.
Step by Step Recipe
Wash the rice and soak it in enough water for 30 minutes. Add the whole spices in mortal pestle and grind them a little.
Heat ghee in a pan. Once the ghee is hot, add whole spices and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add onion and fry until they turn slightly brown.
Now add ginger, garlic and green chilli and fry for a minute.
Add carrot, beans, cauliflower, peas and potato and cook for a minute.
Drain the rice and add it in the pan. Add 3 cups of water, salt, garam masala powder, and lemon juice, and cover and cook on low heat until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Once the rice is cooked, switch off the stove and fluff the rice using a big spoon and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pulao is a medley of rice with either vegetables or meat and both these things are cooked together with subtle spices whereas, in Biryani, rice and meat or vegetables are cooked separately and then assembled in layers.
It is much richer due to the use of ghee and fried onions and more spices.
You can add in Mushrooms, Cauliflower, Potatoes, Onion, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Carrots, Beans, Green Peas, Corn Kernels, Baby Corn, Red, Yellow, and Green Bell Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Drumsticks, etc.
You can also add in Paneer Cubes or Soy in this Pulav for an added protein.
Soaking rice helps you get fluffy and separate rice. So before preparing, soak the rice for at least 30 minutes, discard the water and then add the soaked rice in the recipe.
To make this pulao in a pressure cooker, follow the same method. Pressure cook the rice for one whistle on high heat and then switch off the flame. Let the pressure release on its own. Open the cooker and then fluff the rice gently.
To make veg pulao in a microwave, heat ghee for one minute in a microwave-safe bowl. Add cumin and whole spices and micro on high for 30 seconds.
Add onion, ginger, garlic, and green chilies and micro on high for 3 minutes.
Now add the veggies and micro for 2 minutes.
Add the rice with water and salt and micro for 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the microwave and let the rice rest for 5 minutes before fluffing it.
Pro Tips by Neha
Use long grain Basmati rice to make this pulao. The grains will remain separate and the fragrance will be amazing.
After the pulao is cooked, let it rest for at least 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork. It will make sure the grains do not break while fluffing it.
Ghee adds a very delicious flavor to the rice however if you want, you can use olive oil too. But adding some fat helps to keep the grains separate so do not skip it.
Slightly crushing the whole spices before adding them in ghee will make the flavor stand out even more.
Add some roasted Kasuri Methi along with the vegetables for an even more delicious flavor of this pulao.
You can add bari or lentil dumplings to this pulao. Just break the bari into small pieces and fry until browned. Then add them in the pulao along with the vegetables.
I sometimes cook this pulao in veg stock instead of water and it takes the taste to a whole new level. You can try using soup cubes that are easily available.
Also, try to cook this pulao in thin coconut milk. It has a very different and very delicious taste.
I have a lovely recipe in which Veg Pulao is cooked in some curd. Do not forget to check it out. Here is how to make Dahi Wala Pulao.
You can add a paste made using coriander, mint, and green chilies. It will impart a very different flavor to the pulao.
You can also add masala powders like Goda Masala, Sambar Masala, or Vangi Bath Masala to this recipe for a change in taste.
Brown Rice Pulao – This pulao is made using brown rice instead of white rice.
Serve this delicious Restaurant Style Veg Pulao along with Raita recipes such as Tomato Onion Raita, Cucumber Raita, Aloo Raita, Kaddu Ka Raita, and Carrot Raita. Do not forget to serve pickle and papad on the side.
You can also serve it on the side with your meal of Dal, Sabzi, Roti and Raita.
This Veg Pulao will last in the fridge for about 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container. Reheat it in a pan or microwave, until nice and warm.
If you feel it has become a little dry, then sprinkle some water and mix it properly.
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Veg Pulao Recipe
- 1 cup Long Grain Basmati Rice
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2-3 Cloves
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 2 Black cardamom
- 2 Green Cardamom
- 4-5 Black peppercorns
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 cup Onion (Chopped)
- 1 tsp Ginger (Finely Chopped)
- 1 tsp Garlic (Finely Chopped)
- 2-3 Green Chilli (Slit into half)
- ¼ cup Carrot (Chopped)
- ¼ cup Beans (Chopped)
- ½ cup Cauliflower (Cut into small florets)
- ¼ cup Peas
- ¼ cup Potato (peeled and cubed)
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- Wash the rice and soak it in enough water for 30 minutes.
- Heat ghee in a pan.
- Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, black cardamom, green cardamom, peppercorns and bay leaf and let them crackle for a few seconds.
- Add onion and fry until they turn slightly brown.
- Add ginger, garlic and green chilli and fry for a minute.
- Now add carrot, beans, cauliflower, peas and potato and cook for a minute.
- Drain the rice and add it in the pan.
- Add 2 cups of water, salt, garam masala powder and lemon juice and cover and cook on low heat until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
- Remove the pan from heat.
- Serve hot with any raita.