paneer pulao

Paneer pulao recipe with step by step photos. This is an aromatic, delicious and mildly spiced paneer pulao made with freshly ground pulao masala which really brings in a lot of flavor and aroma in the recipe.

Pulao are often made at home be it Vegetable pulao or Peas pulao or Mushroom pulao. they are easy to make and I just have to serve the pulao with a raita, mango pickle and some roasted papads or a side veggie salad.

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paneer pulao recipe, paneer rice

I have experimented with pulao many times, since I make it so often. On occasions, I make a pulao masala and sometimes I just add whole spices to the pulao. I have made pulao masala with a different mix of spices. I have also added birista (caramelized onions) in the pulao. Different spices give different results. A really good pulao, I had made recently was Jackfruit pulao with a slightly different cooking technique.

Few more delicious recipes you can make with paneer and rice combo are:

For this paneer pulao, I have ground whole spices to make a fragrant pulao masala. its this masala, that gives a nice aromatic flavor to the pulao. I sometimes get queries, on what is a single strand of mace. The following pic mentions a single strand of mace. This pulao masala can be added to the pulao only once.

spices for the pulao masala

Paneer is bland and generally pulao, besides being aromatic is also bland. Hence, I have spiced this pulao a bit, like the way I usually prepare vegetable pulao. Added ginger-garlic-green chili paste and some mint leaves. Spiced, meaning the pulao is not spicy, but has that hint of green chilies in it. If you want a spicy pulao, then just increase the quantity of the green chilies.

To make the pulao, i have made the paneer at home or you can also use store bought paneer. Just make sure that the paneer should not be very soft so that it does not crumble while pan frying. Use a seasoned pan while frying, so that the paneer does not stick to the pan. You can also use a non stick tava.

As a variation, you can add peas or even mixed vegetables in this paneer rice recipe. I have mentioned in the steps, where to add peas in the pulao.

Serve paneer pulao hot garnished with some mint or coriander leaves and a few pan fried paneer cubes. You can also serve cucumber raita or onion tomato raita. This paneer rice dish would also go equally well with dal fry or dal tadka.

How to make paneer pulao

1. in a small dry grinder or coffee grinder, Add all the spices for the pulao masala. 

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 black cardamom – seeds removed and husks discarded
  • 2 to 3 green cardamom – kept whole or seeds removed
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 single strand of mace
  • A small piece of stone flower

spices for paneer pulao masala

2. grind to a semi fine or to a fine powder. Keep aside.

spice powder for paneer pulao recipe

3. rinse the basmati rice till the water becomes clear of the starch. soaked the basmati rice in enough water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain and keep the rice aside.

basmati rice for making paneer pulao recipe

4. Crush the ginger, garlic and green chilli to a paste in a mortar pestle.

ginger garlic paste for paneer pulao recipe

Making paneer pulao

5. heat ghee in a pot or a pan. Add the bay leaf and saute for 2-3 seconds. then add the thinly sliced onions.

saute onions - making paneer pulao recipe

6. saute till the onions start to turn golden brown or caramelize.

saute onions for making paneer pulao recipe

7. then add the ginger, garlic and green chilli paste. Saute till the raw aroma of ginger garlic goes away. (on a low flame, it will take approx 10-15 seconds).

add ginger garlic paste - making paneer pulao recipe

8. add the chopped mint leaves and the ground pulao masala. Stir for 5-8 seconds.
Optional step – if you are adding peas, then add now and saute for 2-3 minutes.

add paneer pulao masala

9. add the drained rice. Stir gently and saute for a minute.

making paneer pulao

10. Add water, lemon juice and salt.

add lemon juice to paneer pulao recipe

11. stir well.

cooking paneer pulao

12. Cover the pan tightly with a lid.

cover paneer pulao pan with a lid

12. on a low to medium flame, simmer till the rice grains are cooked. If the water dries in the pan then add some more water. When the rice is cooking, chop the paneer/cottage cheese into cubes. heat ghee on a tawa or a frying pan. Use a non-stick pan or a well seasoned tawa/griddle to pan fry the paneer. Otherwise, the paneer cubes will stick to the pan. Add the paneer cubes and pan fry till light golden. Don’t over fry as then they will become dense and rubbery. Keep the pan fried paneer cubes aside.

pan fried paneer cubes for pulao recipe

14. once the rice is cooked, just allow the rice to sit for 5 minutes. Add the pan fried paneer cubes and gently mix it with the rice. Cover the pan again with a lid and allow the paneer to be in the rice for another 5 minutes. This makes the paneer soft and it also absorbs the aroma of the pulao.

paneer pulao recipe, paneer rice recipe

15. Serve paneer pulao hot garnished with some mint leaves and a fewpan-friedd paneer cubes. You can also serve paneer rice with a raita or dal fry or dal tadka.

paneer pulao recipe, paneer rice recipe

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Paneer Pulao

4.73 from 11 votes
This is a fragrant and lightly spiced paneer pulao made with freshly ground pulao masala which really brings in a lot of flavor and aroma in the recipe. 
paneer pulao recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:30 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:50 mins
Course:main course
Cuisine:indian
Servings (change the number to scale):4
(1 CUP = 250 ML)

Ingredients

for the pulao masala

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (shah jeera)
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 black cardamom - seeds removed and husks discarded
  • 2 to 3 green cardamom - kept whole or seeds removed
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 single strand of mace
  • a small piece of stone flower (rock flower or pathar phool or dagad phool or kalpasi)

for paneer pulao

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice or pulao rice
  • 250 to 300 grams paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 1 medium to large onion, thinly sliced
  • cup peas - optional
  • 2 tablespoon ghee or oil for the pulao
  • 2 to 3 teaspoon ghee or oil for pan frying the paneer
  • 3 to 3.25 cups water
  • ½ inch ginger + 2 to 3 garlic cloves + 1 green chilli - crushed in a mortar-pestle to a paste
  • 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 1 to 1.25 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1.5 to 2 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • salt as required

Instructions

making the pulao masala

  • In a small dry grinder or coffee grinder, add all the spices mentioned: "For the pulao masala".
  • Grind to a semi fine to fine powder. Keep aside.

making pulao

  • Rinse the basmati rice till the water becomes clear of the starch.
  • Soaked the basmati rice in enough water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain and keep the rice aside.
  • Slice the onions thinly. Chop the mint leaves and keep aside.
  • Crush the ginger, garlic and green chilli to a paste in a mortar-pestle.
  • Heat ghee in a pot or a pan. Add the bay leaf and saute for 2-3 seconds.
  • Then add the thinly sliced onions and saute till the onions start to turn golden brown or caramelize.
  • Then add the ginger, garlic and green chilli paste. Saute till the raw aroma of ginger garlic goes away. (on a low flame, it will take approx 10-15 seconds).
  • Add the chopped mint leaves and the ground pulao masala. Stir for 5-8 seconds.
  • Optional step - if you are adding peas then add now and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the drained rice. Stir gently and saute for a minute. Add water, lemon juice and salt.
  • Stir well. Cover the pan tightly with a lid. Make sure no steam escapes from the sides.
  • On a low to medium flame, simmer till the rice grains are cooked. If the water dries in the pan then add some more water.

making paneer pulao

  • When the rice is cooking, chop the paneer into cubes.
  • Heat ghee on a tawa or a frying pan. Use a non-stick pan or a well seasoned tawa/griddle to pan fry the paneer. Otherwise the paneer cubes will stick to the pan.
  • Add the paneer cubes and pan fry till light golden. Don't over fry as then they will become dense and rubbery. Keep the pan fried paneer cubes aside.
  • Once the rice is cooked, just allow the rice to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Then add the pan fried paneer cubes and gently mix it with the rice.
  • Cover the pan again with a lid and allow the paneer to be in the rice for another 5 minutes.
  • This makes the paneer soft and it also absorbs the aroma of the pulao.
  • Serve paneer pulao hot garnished with some mint leaves and pan fried paneer cubes.
  • You can serve raita or dal fry or dal tadka with the paneer pulao.

Notes

For pressure cooking paneer pulao: 
  • Add 2.5 cups water for separate grains and for a more soft texture of rice, add 3 cups water.
  • Pressure cook pulao for 2 to 3 whistles.

Nutrition Info (approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Paneer Pulao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 421 Calories from Fat 109
% Daily Value*
Fat 12.1g19%
Saturated Fat 6.6g41%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.2g
Cholesterol 32.5mg11%
Sodium 823.9mg36%
Potassium 263.5mg8%
Carbohydrates 64.6g22%
Fiber 2.9g12%
Sugar 3.9g4%
Protein 13.3g27%
Vitamin A 600IU12%
Vitamin C 12.4mg15%
Calcium 110mg11%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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35 comments/reviews

  1. hi dassana..hope you are doing well.thanks for this wonderful recipe..I tried today and Alhamdolillah it had turned out very tasty..mouth watering..hopefully will write again soon..take Care

    • Welcome Zainab. Glad to know that paneer pulao came out well.

  2. Awesome . Made for lunch today5 stars

    • thanks trupti

  3. It looks great.let me try.

    • sure usha thankyou 🙂

  4. Looking yumm

  5. Made this for lunch. It was yummy! I didnt have stone flower, mace or caraway but still it was delicious! Thanks Dassana! 🙂5 stars

    • welcome sneha. good to know this.

  6. tried this pulao last night..n it came out delicious! thanks for all the nice recipes..

    • welcome manjiri

  7. Excellent recipe Dassana. Have made this paneer pulao quite a few times in the last two weeks….I absolutely loved this recipe. You are an amazing cook and thanks for sharing your talent!!!

    • welcome deepti. thanks for sharing positive feedback on pulao and for your kind words.

  8. The Paneer Pulao was much more easy than presumed. As always, thanks to your commendable ways of presentation. The aroma itself was sufficient to get the feel of the taste that the dish had. You’ve really mastered the art of cooking and sharing those important insights with your readers to make their life easier and making them too enjoy cooking is very much appreciated.5 stars

    • thanks again hemanth for your kind and motivating words.

  9. too awesome!!!
    i will try this!!5 stars

    • thanks krishna

  10. I like the receipes. Simple, easy and delicious.5 stars

    • thanks zenab

  11. Super recipes5 stars

  12. Very tasty, easy and quick to make it. I added 1 cup frozen veggies and 1/2 cup each peas and edamame shelled4 stars

    • thanks for the feedback. veggies and edamame must have boosted the nutrition in the pulao.

  13. Hi! Simply awesome Dasanna! I followed your recipe to the T and it turned out to be really yummy. Thank you so much

    • welcome uma

  14. Good Evening Dassana!

    Im a great fan of yours and have been following your blog religiously for last one year. I must admit, your recipes are just too tempting with such lovely pics.

    Could you please confirm if stone flower and star anise are same?

    Thanks,
    Smriti

    • welcome smriti and thanks for your kind words. they are different. stone flower is called as pathar phool/dagad phool and star anise is called as chakra phool in hindi.

    • thanks smriti. stone flower and star anise are different. i have recently updated goda masala recipe post. you can check in the pics both of them.

  15. Jsk. Thank s a ton. Reading itself smells delicious. Looking forward to many more moyth watering recipes.

    • welcome usha.

  16. Hello,

    I am just trying to post a comment but just unable to. Not sure why?!

    Could you please advise from where I can get stone flower/rock flower? If I just leave that out, will it change/effect the flavor a lot?

    Please advise. waiting for your response.

    Best wishes,
    Sam4 stars

    • stone flower will be easily available in maharashtra, india. you can also try if they are available online. it gives a subtle aroma and flavor to biryanis and pulao. if you don’t have then just skip it.

  17. The pulao looks incredible. I love adding fresh masala, must have given such a nice aroma.

    • thanks preeti

  18. Simply nice

  19. Yummilicious pulao… Loved the fresh masala