Veg Pulao Recipe – Vegetable Pulao – Pilaf Rice

Vegetable Pulao / Veg pulav or Pilaf  rice is one of the most common Indian rice dish. Rice and vegetables are first sautéed, along with spices in oil or ghee and then cooked together, and this makes veg pulao. It has got few names such as pilaf, pulav, or pulao. Today am sharing a super easy veg pulao recipe.

What is Pulao

Pulao is a rice dish. To make pulao, first sauté mild spices in oil, then add rice and water and cook till rice is cooked. This will give mild flavoured rice aka pulao or pilaf rice.

Veg or Vegetable Pulao

Veg pulao is a variant of pulao rice. In veg pulao, apart from spices, and rice, you need to add vegetables too. This comforting and ambrosial rice is not only easy to make, its fulling too. Some of the common used vegetables are, green peas, carrot, beans, etc.

There are a few variations of pulao, such a peas pulao, where only vegetable used is green peas. Paneer pulao is another variation of pulao, instead of vegetables, paneer is added.

Yakhni Pulao is another variant of pulao. Yakhni pulao is normally non-vegetarian and contains chicken or meat.

Easy Home made Veg Pulao Rice
Home made Veg Pulao – Veg Pulao Recipe

Veg Pulao vs Tawa Pulao vs Fried Rice vs Yakhni Pulao vs Navratan Pulao


Veg pulao, navratan pulao, tawa pulao, fried rice and yakhni pulao are all rice based dish. The process of making these dish is similar too, however these all are different.

Veg or vegetable pulao has mostly vegetables where as Navratan pulao contains vegetables as well as dry fruits (normally 9 different vegetables and dry fruits, hence called “navratan”). In veg pulao, rice and vegetables are cooked together along with spices. Navratan pulao making process is little different, as compared to veg pulao. To make navratan pulao, first par boil the rice, then add this rice to sautéed and semi-cooked vegetables and dry fruits. Veg pulao is a one pot mean in true sense, as against to navratan pulao.

Tawa or tava pulao is more common in Mumbai area. Tawa pulao is close to fried rice. Process of tawa pulao consists of boiling rice and then sautéing vegetables on tava / flat skillet in spices and then adding this boiled rice. It is very close to fried rice. Tava pulao differs from normal veg pulao.

Normal pulao rice or veg pulao is made using absorption process, where water is absorbed in rice and vegetables, where as in tawa pulao, rice is already cooked and the fried on tawa.

Yakhni pulao is also different from normal pulao or vegetable pulao. Yakhni pulao normally contains chicken or meat stock and rice is cooked in this chicken / meat stock.

Ingredients for Veg Pulao

  • Rice – Pulao can not be with out rice. I recommend using good quality rice with long grains for best pulao.
  • Vegetables – Veg pulao needs to have vegetables, normally used vegetables are green peas, carrots, green beans, cauliflower. Try to use fresh seasonal vegetables. You may also add soya chunks and paneer pieces.
  • Spices – Spices play great role in adding to the flavours of pulao. Commonly used spices are cloves, bayleaves, cardamom, cumin seeds etc.
  • Oil – You would need small amount oil for sautéing the veggies. I recommend using butter or ghee, for best taste.
Veg Pulao - Vegetarian Pulao Recipe
Veg Pulao – Vegetable Pulao Recipe

This vegetable pulao recipe is direct from my mum’s kitchen. In those days, when I was kid, my mum will make this pulao as a treat for the family. and pulao was family hit. Now, that I cook almost on daily basis, I can relate why mum will offer this pulao rice as treat, it is easy to make, super tasty, and one of her ways to feed vegetables to the family.

Method – Vegetable Pulao Recipe

  • First of all, take the rice in a big bowl and wash them 3-4 times and then soak them for 30 minutes in enough water.
  • Place a deep and heavy bottomed pan / Kadhai / Pot over medium heat and warm ghee/oil in it, subsequently add cumin seeds, bay leaves, black cardamom and cloves in it and sauté them for a minute.
  • Now add the onions and sauté them till translucent. Add all the vegetables, and cashew, and sauté again for 5 minutes.
How to Make Veg Pulao | Your Food Fantasy
How to Make Veg Pulao | adding vegetables in the Pan
  • Drain the water from the soaked rice and add them to the pan. Sauté gently for 2 minutes so that everything mixes well.
Veg Pulao Recipe | Your Food Fantasy
Adding rice to the Pan
  • Add Water and lime juice and cover the pan with lid and keep the heat to low. Check if rice is cooked, water should also get absorbed. In case, you find rice still uncooked, top with little more water. Exercise care not to add too much water.
  • Switch off the flame as soon as rice is cooked and fluff the rice. Let this settle for 5-7 minutes.
Veg Pulao Ready to be Plated | Your Food Fantasy
Veg Pulao is ready to be plated
  • Serve the veg pulao hot either with Dal or curry of your choice Or you can simply relish it with salad, raita, pickle and / or cilantro chutney.

Pro Tips for best vegetable pulao

  • Soak the rice for 30 mins, prior to cooking. Soaking will help rice cook quickly. Soaking rice will fasten cooking process by initiating the absorption of water even before rice is added in the cooking pan / pot. Let rice soak for 30 minutes or so, this way the cooking time for rice will be reduced by 15-25%. Soaking rice will also improve the flavour of the pulao, and give nice fluffy rice grains.
  • Use good quality rice for pulao. I recommend using long grain rice or basmati rice, and aged rice, for the best taste.
  • Look for fresh seasonal vegetables. Being in UK, I tend to get most of the vegetables round the year. I chose carrots, green beans and green peas, this is so that I get a nice medley of vegetables in pulao. These different coloured vegetables add to the hues of pulao.
  • Use butter or ghee for best taste.
  • Do not add too much water, this will make rice mushy. Adjust amount of water based on the rice you are using, some rice will need more water as against others.
  • You can use frozen vegetable too, take out the vegetable from freezer, and soak in water for few mins to remove frost before adding in the pan for cooking.

Various methods to make veg pulao

  • Pan or Pot – My recipe card has detailed this.
  • Pressure cooker – Just increase quantity of water by 1 cup and cook till 2 whistles.
  • Electric cooker – Saute vegetables and spices, in a separate pan, then transfer these along with rice, salt and water. Now cook, as you will cook normal rice.
  • Instant Pot – Commence your cooking by pressing saute mode and saute spices, and then vegetables. Pour water and add salt, and give a good churn to the vegetables in the pot. Now put the lid and put on pressure cook mode for 5 mins. Subsequently release pressure for 5 mins gradually on its own, and then release the pressure manually. Open the lid and fluff up the rice.

This vegetable pulao

  • Is gluten-free and very much suitable for all gluten intolerants.
  • If you know basic rice cooking, then making this vegetable pulao is super easy.
  • My veg pulao recipe here for vegetable pulao is vegan too, as long as you do not use butter and use olive oil or other cooking oil.
  • Is simply delicious and comforting. Save this vegetable or veg pulao recipe as your go to recipe, on a day when you do not want to put your brain into too much cooking still fancy something tasty, filling and comforting.
  • This is also kid friendly dish and one of alternative ways to feed vegetables to kids.

Serving suggestion

Serve this pulao hot along with raita, papad and green chutney. In case you do not have time to get all these condiments ready, simply serve with yogurt!

Recipe Card

Veg Pulao Recipe - Pilaf Rice | Your Food Fantasy

Veg Pulao – Vegetable Pulao

Meenu Gupta
A delicious rice dish made with rice by topping up vegetables in it, and cooking along with spices.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Soaking time for rice 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Lunch & Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 363 kcal

Equipment

  • Pan / Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Cup Long Grain Basmati Rice Can use other rice too, but long grain rice gives best look
  • 1/2 Cup French Beans Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Green Peas Can use frozen as an alternative
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Carrots Chopped
  • 2 Onions Medium Size, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Bayleaves
  • 3 Cloves
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 12 Cashews
  • 1 Tsp Salt As per taste
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Oil For best taste use ghee or butter
  • 3 Cup Water

Instructions
 

  • First of all, take the rice in a big bowl and wash them 3-4 times and then soak them for 30 minutes in enough water.
  • Place a deep and heavy bottomed pan / Kadhai / Pot over medium heat and warm ghee/oil in it. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, black cardamom and cloves in it and sauté them for a minute.
  • Now add the onions and sauté them till translucent. Add all the veggies and sauté again for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the water from the soaked rice and add them to the pan. Sauté gently for 2 minutes so that everything mixes well.
  • Add Water and lime juice. Cover the pan with lid and keep the heat to low.  Let it cook till all the water is absorbed  and rice are nice soft. You can adjust amount of water if rice is not done yet. 
  • Once the rice grains are cooked, switch off the flame, fluff them and cover the lid again. Let this settle for 5-7 minutes.
  • Serve the veg pulao hot either with Dal or curry of your choice Or you can simply relish it with salad, raita, pickle and / or cilantro chutney.

Notes

  • You can cook the pulao in pressure cooker as well. Just increase quantity of water by 1 cup and cook till 2 whistles.
  • You can add Soya chunks if you like your pulao that way.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Veg Pulao – Vegetable Pulao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 363 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 414mg18%
Potassium 268mg8%
Carbohydrates 68g23%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 225IU5%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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