Pulao Recipe | Veg Pulao

Pulao Recipe | Veg Pulao

Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 25 mins
Total Time : 40 mins


For soaking rice

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice – 300 grams, rinsed & soaked for 30 minutes
  • water – as required for soaking


  • ½ to ¾ cup chopped cauliflower florets
  • ½ to ¾ cup chopped potatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped carrots
  •  cup green peas – fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup chopped green peas (french beans)
  • ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper (capsicum) – optional
  • ¼ cup sliced baby corn – optional

Other ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Ghee or oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions or 1 large onion, sliced
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes or 1 medium sized tomato, chopped
  • 1 to 1.5 inches ginger – crushed to a paste in a mortar-pestle
  • 4 to 5 small to medium garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 green chillies (chili pepper)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves – optional
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice – optional
  • 2.5 to 3 cups water or veg stock * check notes below for details. I added 3 cups of water
  • salt as required

Whole spices

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (shah jeera)
  • 5 to 6 whole black pepper – optional
  • 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 to 4 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom – optional
  • 1 small piece of mace – optional
  • 1 small star anise – optional
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 small piece of stone flower (dagad phool or patthar ke phool) – optional

For garnish

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves or mint leaves



  • Rinse rice till the water runs clear of starch and become transparent while rinsing.
  • Soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain all the water and keep the soaked rice aside.
  • Rinse, peel and chop the vegetables.
  • Crush chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies to a paste in a mortar-pestle or grind them in a small mixer or grinder with a bit of water.

Frying spices and onions

  • 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 and the spices splutter.
  • Add the onions and saute them till golden. Saute the onions on a low to medium-low flame and stir often for uniform browning.
  • Add the ginger-garlic-green chili paste and saute for some seconds till their raw aroma goes away.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute for 2 to 3 minutes on a low to medium-low flame.
  • Add all the chopped veggies and saute again for 1 to 2 minutes on a low to medium-low flame.
  • Add rice and saute gently for 1 to 2 minutes on a low or medium-low flame, so that the rice gets well coated with the oil.
  • Add water and lemon juice. Mix and stir.
  • Season with salt and stir again.

Cooking veg pulao

  • Cover tightly and let the rice cook on a low flame, till the water is absorbed and the rice is well cooked. 
  • 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.
  • Once the rice grains are cooked, fluff and let the rice stand for 5 minutes.
  • Serve pulao hot with some side salad, sliced onion & lemon wedges or raita. You can also garnish it with chopped coriander or mint leaves or fried cashews or fried onions.

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