easy vegetable pulao in pressure cooker, how to make vegetable pulao

easy vegetable pulao

easy and quick vegetable pulao recipe cooked in a pressure cooker. vegetable pulao is a comfort one pot meal when we don’t have time to do elaborate cooking or you have to cook food on a short notice or in a quick time.

here i am sharing the way i make vegetable pulao at home. i sometimes make pulao in a pressure cooker using this recipe or sometimes my mom’s veg pulao recipe. when i have time, i cook in a pot and when no time, i use the pressure cooker.

pressure cooking rice can be tricky. different types of rice will cook at different timings. since i stick to the same brand of organic basmati rice, i now know how much time the grains take to cook. what i have learnt from experience is that its better to soak the rice first. the proportion i use for rice to water is 1: 2 or 1:1.5.

while cooking, after adding the rice, stir the grains with the rest of the ingredients well, so that the oil coats each rice grain. i usually pressure cook on a high flame for 2-3 whistles. then let the pressure drop on its own, since the rice is cooking when the cooker is hot and the pressure is there inside it. then i gently fluff the rice before serving.

what i have also seen, is that the more oil the more the food tastes better. i don’t know why. the same is with pulaos too. the veg pulao will be oily, but will taste good too. here i have used 2 tbsp oil. however 3 tbsp oil would also be ok to use, unless you are on a low fat diet for health reasons.

easy vegetable pulao recipe

in this recipe, apart from pressure cooking the pulao, i also fry some onion slices and cashew nuts and add to the final dish. the crisp onion slices and cashews add a lot of flavor and texture to the pulao. on occasions i also add some mint and coriander leaves while making the pulao. and sometimes a vegan yogurt too.

the best part i like about vegetable pulaos is that they are healthy as we put lot of vegetables in them. in this recipe, i have put peas, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes and onions. there were no carrots at home, hence not added them. you can also add aubergines, broccoli, french beans, green beans etc in it. you can also make pulao with brown rice.

serve the vegetable pulao with a raita like boondi raita, plain raita or onion-tomato raita and you have a comforting meal ready. a mango pickle or lemon pickle also goes well with pulao. even a side thin vegetable curry or kadhi or spiced buttermilk/chaas goes well.

if you are looking for more pulao recipes then do check veg pulao, kashmiri pulao, mix veg pulao, veg pulao in asian style and mushroom pulao.

easy vegetable pulao recipe below:

4.2 from 5 reviews
vegetable pulao recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
easy vegetable pulao recipe made in pressure cooker.
Recipe type: main
Cuisine: indian
Serves: 3-4
  • 1.5 cups basmati rice
  • 2.5 to 3 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium sized potato, chopped
  • ½ cup peas/matar, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup cauliflower/gobi florets
  • ½ cup chopped carrots or beans
  • 2 to 2.5 tbsp oil or ghee
crushed or ground into paste in a pestle-mortar
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 green chili, chopped
whole garam masala:
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 strand of mace
  • 1 medium sized bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
for garnishing:
  • 12-15 cashews
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 tbsp oil for frying the onions and cashews
  1. soak the rice in water for 30 mins.
  2. meanwhile when the rice is soaking, you can rinse and chop all the veggies.
  3. for the cauliflower florets, rinse and blanch them in salted water. this step is optional though. drain the rice and keep aside.
  4. heat oil in a pressure cooker. add all the spices mentioned under garam masala and fry till the oil becomes fragrant. now add the sliced onions and fry till they become golden.
  5. add the ginger-garlic-chili paste and fry till the raw aroma disappears... for about 30 seconds.
  6. add the tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots or beans and saute for 2-3 minutes on a low flame. keep on stirring.
  7. now add the peas and saute for 2 minutes more on a low flame.
  8. keep on stirring gently and saute the rice for 2-3 minutes on a low flame, till the oil gets coated well and uniformly on the rice grains. pour water and stir.
  9. add salt and check the taste of the broth. if the broth tastes bland, then add some more salt.
  10. cover the pressure cooker with its lid and pressure cook the rice on a medium or high flame for 2-3 whistles. i kept for 3 whistles.
  11. meanwhile when the rice is cooking, prepare the garnishing ingredients.
  12. heat oil in a small frying pan. first fry the cashews till golden. remove and drain on paper towels.
  13. now add the onions and fry them till crisp and golden. drain on paper towels.
  14. when the rice is done, gently fluff the rice. you can add the fried onions and cashews to the rice and gently stir.
  15. or garnish the rice with the fried onions and cashews and then serve vegetable pulao.
  16. the vegetable pulao goes well with boondi raita, plain raita or onion-tomato raita. also accompany some onion slices with lemon or a vegetable salad or pickle and papad.

{ 34 Responses }

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  1. Richa says

    Hi Dassana,
    Could you please tell me which brand of basmati rice and pressure cooker you use? My pulao either turns out too dry or too sticky!

    • says

      i use organic basmati rice. i have a prestige 2 litre cooker and a hawkins 3.5 litre cooker. i use both of them. too dry meaning less water and too sticky means overcooked or extra water. i do the following:
      soak the rice for 30 mins.
      then drain them.
      add to the cooker.
      ratio is 1:2 for rice and water respectively.
      if i want a softer texture, i add 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.
      for a separate grains, i add 1.5 cups of water to 1 cup rice.
      mostly i pressure cook for 3 whistles.

      hope these rice cooking tips help.

  2. maithri says

    Thank you for the recipe dassana, I want to try it. But I was wondering, can I use the readymade garam masala that is available at a supermarket instead of making our own?

  3. Ganesan says

    I tried this recipe but after 3 whistles there was still water in the pressure cooker. So I cooked for 2 more whistles and the dish became very soggy. Definitely the water quantity is too much. It was tasty though.

    • says

      usually rice to water proportion is 1:2. so depending on the quality of rice, the amount of water can be increased to 2.5 or 3 also. since we are pressure cooking and the rice is soaked, 2.5 cups water works very well if you want a separate grain of rice. but if you want a more cooked texture, then 3 cups of water is fine. it also depends on the quality of basmati rice. but from my experience most basmati rice get cooked well in this proportion. after pressure cooking also, the pressure has to be allowed to settle down on its own. since the rice is getting cooked even when there is pressure in the cooker. so if one removes the steam by lifting the vent weight, then the water will be there in the cooker.

  4. Rohit says

    Thanks Dassanaji for the recipe : )
    Mom’s not home & wanted to have pulao..
    Thanks to u now I know how to make ! : ))

  5. sajith says

    i am an amateur cook but still this came out very nice.i’ve left out potatos,instead added some chopped capsicum,added both beans and carrots inorder to increase the nutritive value.stick with the water requirement fanatically and it will be a culinary delight:).thanx a bunch dassana.i’ve turned this into my staple food and everybody loves it.

  6. Satish says

    When rice is cooked in Pressure cooker, the base or bottom portion of the cooker inside becomes so hot,mostly the rice gets over burned and turns red, or some time even turns black,

    so the better way to make palau is to use the thick vessel, and a cover, use medium flame, stir often, with out breaking the rice.

    one should be careful not to make the palau too watery, the rice should just be perfectly done, and mix the vegetable and masala, instead of using oil use Ghee or butter.

    • says

      thanks for the tips. if the required amount of water is added in the pressure cooker, then there is no chance of the rice getting burned. i not only cook rice but all pulaos in pressure cooker and never had a burnt rice issue.

  7. says

    It is a beautiful pulao, I loved the addition of paste with ginger, garlic with that extra green chilli!
    Looks perfect, and nice clicks!!
    Anything easily preparable is something I admire, one pot meals rock!!
    Thx for the awesome pulao recipe.

  8. says

    i also make this pulao… its teh way my amma makes it…so i store a paste ginger garlic and green chillies so that i dont have to grind it everytime i need!!