pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe | veg pulao | vegetable pulao

4.63 from 53 votes

simple, aromatic and healthy veg pulao recipe

Jump to Recipe

pulao recipe with step by step photos. veg pulao is a comfort food as well as satisfying. pair this mildly flavored aromatic veg pulao with a raita, pickle and roasted papad and you don’t need anything else. pulao is also called as pilaf and pulav.

pulao recipe, veg pulao recipe, vegetable pulao recipe, veg pilaf

veg pulao is a one pot dish made with rice and vegetables. some spices and herbs are also added to give pulao more flavor and taste.

i make veg pulao when i want to cook something quick and easy. this is my mom’s vegetable pulav recipe and one of our favorite rice recipes, the other being veg biryani.

i have many veg pulao recipes on the blog like peas pulao, kashmiri pulao, tawa pulao, paneer pulao and so on. however most of the times i always end up making veg pulao this way.

i also tried some other variations of making vegetable pulaos but it did not suit our taste buds. there is no addition of any pulao or biryani masala in this recipe. just the whole garam masala spices are added.

what i like about making veg pulao is that its gets made quickly. if you have a food processor for chopping the veggies, then its more quick. usually i like the texture of the rice to be a little soft in pulao than being al dente or the way they are served in restaurants.

what you look in a pulao recipe is that the rice grains have to cooked perfectly without sticking or becoming mushy. so a pulao should have separate non sticky rice grains after being cooked. i have compiled below some tips and suggestions to make a really good pulao with separate non sticky grains of rice.

tips to make veg pulao recipe

1. type and quality of rice
usually basmati rice is used to make pulao. the basmati rice has to be fragrant and long grained to get good results. aged basmati rice gives very excellent results in a pulao or biryani recipe. you can even use other types of long grained rice and short grained rice varieties like seeraga samba or sona masuri or ambe mohar. in some parts of tamil nadu and kerala, seeraga samba rice is widely used to make pulao and biryani. even parboiled basmati rice (sela basmati) can be used to make both pulao and biryani.

2. rice to water ratio

the rice to water ratio is generally 1:2 for rice and water respectively for most rice varieties. however, this ratio varies with a particular type of rice used or the method of cooking rice.

  • example – organic basmati rice requires more water while cooking. parboiled basmati rice will need more water as compared to regular basmati rice. so when cooking pulao, use rice which you have cooked earlier, so that you know how much water to add.
  • example – when cooking pulao in a pressure cooker, generally less water is added. the steam generated in the pressure cooker, helps in cooking the rice grains. but here the amount of water to be added depends upon the size of the cooker. in larger cookers more water has to be added.

3. methods of cooking pulao

pulao can be cooked in five ways –

  • in a pan or pot (as shown in this veg pulao recipe post)
  • in a pressure cooker
  • in an instant pot
  • in an electric cooker
  • in a microwave

you can use any method for cooking pulao. but just remember to add correct amount of water.
example: in an electric cooker, you will need to add more water. in a pressure cooker you need to add less water, then when making pulao in a pan. in the notes section of recipe card, i have mentioned the amount of water to be added when cooking veg pulao in a 3 litre pressure cooker

4. cooking pulao in a pressure cooker

one of the easiest and quickest method to make pulao is in a pressure cooker. it saves time as well as fuel. while making veg pulao in a pressure cooker is easy, but it can be tricky. the size of the pressure cooker, the quality of rice and amount of water added can yield a very good pulao or sticky, mushy or lumpy pulao or even a burnt undercooked pulao. so make pulao in a pressure cooker with a particular brand of aged basmati rice which stays separate even after pressure cooking. keep in mind the size of the cooker. larger the cooker, more water needs to be added and vice versa.

5. sticky rice grains vs separate rice grains

to get separate rice grains in a pulao, firstly the quality of rice should be good and it should be aged. secondly do not add more water or extra water. thirdly after adding rice, sauté them for 2 minutes on a low to medium flame, so that the rice grains are coated with fat (oil or ghee). the rice grains have to be separate & yet well cooked in a pulao or biryani. addition of lemon juice also helps in making the rice grains fluffier.

its always better to soak rice for 20 to 30 minutes. soaking rice grains gives a better texture when they are cooked. if you do not have time to soak rice grains, then just rinse and then add them. but here you will need to add some more water. presoaked rice grains require less water for cooking as compared to rice grains which are not soaked.

variations in making pulao recipe

1. various type of vegetables can be added in a pulao. you can add these vegetables alone or in a combination of two to three or more. it depends on what you and your family likes and prefers. usually a veg pulao is made with veggies like green peas, cauliflower, french beans, carrots, potatoes. apart from these vegetables, you can also add broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, capsicum (bell peppers), cabbage, beetroot, tomatoes. the flavors and taste of pulao will vary with the type of vegetables added in it.

2. there are many pulao varieties made in the indian cuisine with a mix of various masala or spice pastes added.

  • some pulao variations add curd.
  • coconut milk is also added in some pulao recipes. e.g. coconut milk pulao or brinji rice.
  • i also make red pulao and green pulao on occasions. in green pulao, the green masala paste made from coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chilies, ginger and garlic is added. some coconut can also be added in this green masala. green pulao is similar to chutney pulao. red pulao has tomatoes as one of the major flavor and taste contributor.
  • instead of whole spices, you can even add pulao masala or biryani masala in a pulao.
  • some pulao recipes are cooked in vegetable stock instead of water. pulao made in a vegetable stock has a different taste and color.
  • you can always alter the amount of spices and herbs as per your taste. if you like spicy veg pulao then you can add more green chillies and include some spice powders like garam masala powder or red chilli powder. you can also reduce the whole garam masala in the recipe, if you want a less aromatic and mild pulao.

3. a vegetable pulao can be made more delicious and restaurant style by incorporating the following methods:

  • add some crisp golden fried onions (birista) as a garnish on the vegetable pulao. fried onions not only taste good but also give a nice crunch in the soft textured pulao.
  • some fried dry fruits like cashews and raisins can also be added.
  • you can even add some saffron strands while cooking pulao. this will impart the lovely saffron aroma and flavor in the pulao. even rose water or kewra water can be added when making pulao.

serving veg pulao

pulao is served either with a curd (yogurt) or raita or a curry or korma. but if you do not have time or ingredients to make korma or raita, then just serve pulao with some pickle and papad (roasted or fried). you can even serve veg pulao with plain curd. some sliced onions and lime or lemon also accompany a pulao well. even a simple kadhi can be served with veg pulao.

pulao recipe, veg pulao recipe, vegetable pulao recipe
4.63 from 53 votes
print

veg pulao recipe

simple, aromatic and healthy veg pulao recipe

course main course
cuisine indian
prep time 30 minutes
cook time 25 minutes
total time 55 minutes
servings 4
rough calories per serving 375 kcal
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

main ingredients for veg pulao recipe

  • 1.5 cups long grained or basmati rice soaked for 30 minutes
  • ¼ cup heaped EACH of chopped potatoes, cauliflower/broccoli, french beans, green peas (fresh or frozen) and carrots - OR 1 to 1.5 cups chopped vegetables of your choice
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium size tomato, chopped
  • ½ inch ginger + 2 to 3 medium garlic cloves + 1 green chili - crushed to a paste in a mortar-pestle
  • 6 to 7 drops of lime juice
  • 2.5 to 3 cups water or veg stock * check notes below for details. i added 3 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or 2.5 tablespoon oil
  • salt as required

whole spices for pulao recipe

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) OR ¾ teaspoon caraway seeds (shah jeera)
  • 4 to 5 whole black pepper (sabut kali mirch)
  • 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf or tamalpatra)
  • 2 to 3 cloves (laung or lavang)
  • 2 to 3 green cardamoms (hari elaichi or choti elaichi)
  • 1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
  • 2 single strands of mace (jayitri or javitri) - optional
  • 1 small star anise (chakriphool) - optional
  • 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 1 small piece of stone flower (dagad phool or patthar ke phool) - optional

how to make recipe

soaking rice for veg pulao recipe

  1. rinse rinse till the water runs clear of starch and become transparent while rinsing.
  2. soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. drain all the water and keep the soaked rice aside.

making pulao recipe

  1. in a deep thick bottomed pot or pan, heat ghee or oil and fry all the whole spices mentioned above, till the oil becomes fragrant

  2. add the onions and saute them till golden. saute the onions on a low flame and stir often for uniform browning.
  3. add the ginger-garlic-green chili paste and saute for 10 to 12 seconds.
  4. add the tomatoes and saute for 2 to 3 minutes on a low to medium-low flame.

  5. add all the veggies and saute again for 2 to 3 minutes on a medium-low flame.

  6. add rice and saute gently for 2 minutes on a low or medium-low flame, so that the rice gets well coated with the oil.

  7. pour water and stir.
  8. sprinkle 6 to 7 drops of lime juice or lemon juice. season with salt and stir again.

  9. cover tightly and let the rice cook on a low flame, till the water is absorbed and the rice is well cooked. 

  10. check in between a few times to check if the water is enough. depending on the quality of rice, you may need to add less or more water. with a fork too, you can gently stir the rice without breaking the rice grains.

  11. once the rice grains are cooked, fluff and let the rice stand for 5 minutes.
  12. serve the veg pulao hot with some side salad, sliced onion & lemon wedges or raita. you can also garnish veg pulao with chopped coriander or mint leaves.

recipe notes

  • if you are making veg pulao in a 3 litre pressure cooker, then add 2.5 to 2.75 cups water. for an al dente texture, 2.5 cups is fine and for a softer texture 2.75 cups water is fine. pressure cook rice on medium flame for 2 whistles. in case the rice grains are undercooked, then add ¼ cup water and pressure cook for 1 whistle more. 

note: as a blogger, if you you want to use this recipe or make a youtube video, then please write the recipe in your own words and give a clickable link back to this recipe url on Veg Recipes of India. its a fair and ethical practice. for using our image please write to us. all our images and content are copyright protected.

how to make pulao recipe

1. firstly rinse the rice in water runs clear of starch. then soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. then strain the rice and keep aside.

making veg pulao recipe, making pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe

2. when the rice is soaking, prep the veggies and keep the whole spices aside. picture of the the whole spices added in the pulao, except cumin. if you do not have any particular spice, then you can skip it.

making veg pulao recipe, making pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe

3. heat ghee or oil in a deep thick bottomed pot or pan. add all whole spices and fry till they become fragrant.

making veg pulao recipe, making pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe

4. add the thinly sliced onions. saute the onions on a low flame till golden and stirring them often for uniform browning.

making veg pulao recipe, making pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe

5. once the onions become golden, then add crushed ginger+garlic+green chili paste. stir and saute till the raw aroma of the ginger & garlic goes away.

making veg pulao recipe, making pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe

6. add chopped tomatoes. saute for 2 to 3 minutes on a low flame.

making veg pulao recipe, making pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe

7. now add all the chopped veggies and saute again for 2 to 3 minutes on a low flame. please note that at this step you can even add 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves and 2 tablespoons of mint leaves in the pulao recipe.

making veg pulao recipe, making pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe

8. add the rice.

making veg pulao recipe, making pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe

9. saute rice gently for 2 minutes on a low to medium-low flame, so that the rice gets well coated with the oil.

making veg pulao recipe, making pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe

10. pour water.

making veg pulao recipe, making pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe

11. stir well.

making veg pulao recipe, making pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe

12. add 6 to 7 drops of lime juice or lemon juice in the veg pulao.

making veg pulao recipe

13. season with salt. to find the amount of salt added, check the taste of the water. you should feel some saltiness in the water. this means the amount of salt added is right. if the water does not feel salty, then you need to add some more salt.

making veg pulao recipe

14. stir and cover the pot or pan with its lid tightly.

making veg pulao recipe

15. cover and cook the rice till all the water is absorbed. cook veg pulao on a low to medium flame. usually in the beginning i cook on a medium flame and then half way lower the flame. check in between a few times to check if the water is enough. depending on the quality of rice, you may need to add less or more water. with a fork too, you can gently stir the rice without breaking the rice grains.

veg pulao recipe, pulao recipe

16. once the rice grains are cooked, fluff and let the rice stand for 5 minutes covered with the lid.

vegetable pulao recipe, veg pulao recipe, pulao recipe

17. serve pulao garnished with coriander leaves or mint leaves or fried onions and cashews. as a side accompaniment with pulao, you can serve onion tomato raita or boondi raita or cucumber raita or just plain yogurt along with roasted papad and mango pickle or lemon pickle.

veg pulao recipe, vegetable pulao recipe, pulao 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.


195 thoughts on “pulao recipe, how to make pulao recipe | veg pulao | vegetable pulao

Leave a Comment or Review

Your email address will not be published. We moderate all the comments and it takes 24 to 48 hours for the comments to appear. We thank you for your understanding. If you have made the recipe, then you can give a star rating with or without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. I tried it ,turned out really yummy..thank you..for your recipe 😀

    • thanks sarika for the feedback as well as the review on veg pulao recipe. welcome and happy cooking.