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.
for the pulao masala
- seeds removed and husks discarded
2 to 3
- kept whole or seeds removed
2 to 3
single strand of mace
a small piece of stone flower
(rock flower or pathar phool or dagad phool or kalpasi)
for paneer pulao
or pulao rice
250 to 300
medium to large onion,
or oil for the pulao
2 to 3
or oil for pan frying the paneer
3 to 3.25
ginger + 2 to 3 garlic cloves + 1 green chilli
- crushed in a mortar-pestle to a paste
(indian bay leaf)
1 to 1.25
1.5 to 2
chopped mint leaves
salt as required
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.
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.
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.
full recipe -