paneer pulao

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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.

paneer pulao recipe, paneer rice

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.

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

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paneer pulao recipe

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. 
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Cuisine Indian
Course: Main Course

Servings 4
Units

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

Calories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 64.6gProtein: 13.3gFat: 12.1gSaturated Fat: 6.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.2gCholesterol: 32.5mgSodium: 823.9mgPotassium: 263.5mgFiber: 2.9gSugar: 3.9gVitamin A: 600IUVitamin C: 12.4mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 4mg

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Dassana Amit

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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35 Comments

  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

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