paneer pulao recipe, how to make paneer pulao recipe | paneer rice recipe

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paneer pulao recipe

paneer rice recipe - 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. 

4.78 from 9 votes
total time:
50minutes

paneer pulao recipe with step by step photos – aromatic, delicious and mildly spiced paneer pulao recipe.

paneer pulao recipe, paneer rice

pulaos 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 pulaos 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 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 slight 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 pulao would also go equally well with dal fry or dal tadka.

if you are looking for more paneer recipes then do check:

paneer pulao recipe
4.78 from 9 votes
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paneer pulao recipe

paneer rice recipe - 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. 
course main course
cuisine indian
prep time 30 minutes
cook time 20 minutes
total time 50 minutes
servings 4
rough calories per serving 421 kcal
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

for the pulao masala

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (shah jeera)
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1 black cardamom (badi elaichi) - seeds removed and husks discarded
  • 2 to 3 green cardamom (choti elaichi or hari elaichi) - kept whole or seeds removed
  • 2 to 3 cloves (laung)
  • 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 1 single strand of mace (javitri)
  • 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 (matar) - 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 (adrak) + 2 to 3 garlic cloves (lahsun) + 1 green chilli (hari mirch) - 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 (pudina patta)
  • salt as required

how to make paneer pulao recipe

making the pulao masala

  1. in a small dry grinder or coffee grinder, add all the spices mentioned: "for the pulao masala".

  2. grind to a semi fine to fine powder. keep aside.

making pulao

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

  3. slice the onions thinly. chop the mint leaves and keep aside.
  4. crush the ginger, garlic and green chilli to a paste in a mortar-pestle.
  5. heat ghee in a pot or a pan. add the bay leaf and saute for 2-3 seconds.
  6. then add the thinly sliced onions and saute till the onions start to turn golden brown or caramelize.
  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).
  8. add the chopped mint leaves and the ground pulao masala. stir for 5-8 seconds.
  9. optional step - if you are adding peas then add now and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  10. add the drained rice. stir gently and saute for a minute. add water, lemon juice and salt.
  11. stir well. cover the pan tightly with a lid. make sure no steam escapes from the sides.
  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.

making paneer pulao

  1. when the rice is cooking, chop the paneer into cubes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. once the rice is cooked, just allow the rice to sit for 5 minutes.
  5. then add the pan fried paneer cubes and gently mix it with the rice.
  6. cover the pan again with a lid and allow the paneer to be in the rice for another 5 minutes.
  7. this makes the paneer soft and it also absorbs the aroma of the pulao.
  8. serve paneer pulao hot garnished with some mint leaves and pan fried paneer cubes.
  9. you can serve raita or dal fry or dal tadka with the paneer pulao.

recipe 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.

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preparation to make paneer pulao recipe

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 (matar), 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 few pan fried paneer cubes. you can also serve paneer rice with a raita or dal fry or dal tadka.

paneer pulao recipe, paneer rice recipe

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree surely enhanced my cooking & baking skills which i now share as fool proof recipes on the blog. i am 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 today

    • 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! 🙂

    • 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.

    • thanks again hemanth for your kind and motivating words.

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

    • thanks krishna

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