Best veg pulao recipe with stove top and instant pot instructions. Learn how to make veg pulao that is so flavorful, fluffy and very delicious in no time with this rice. Vegetarian & gluten free!
With just rice, vegetables and few spices, this pulao gets ready in 30 minutes. You can use a heavy pan or pot, instant pot or electric pressure cooker or even regular pressure cooker to make this.
More rice recipes you might like- vegan fried rice, jeera rice, coconut rice, lemon rice, 15 minutes masala rice.
What Is Pulao/ Pilaf
Pulao recipe is an easy one pot Indian rice pilaf. Pilaf basically means rice cooked in seasoned broth. Popular pulao recipes are veg pulao, chicken pulao, mushroom pulao, tawa pulao etc.
In veg pulao recipe, mixed vegetables are used. You can any of your favorite vegetables in pulao recipes.
Instead of mixed vegetables you can also make matar pulao, corn pulao recipes. Sometimes we use coconut milk or veg broth instead of water to make it more flavorful and rice.
This veg rice pulao is a regular in my kitchen and I often make this for quick dinner or lumch box. This mild flavored rice tastes so good with a simple raita, green chutney.
Rice pilaf is a good fit in menus for parties, festivals and buffets. For special occasions you can serve this with rich Indian curries like paneer butter masala, navratan korma, chickpea curry and a salad.
There are many ways to make vegetable pulao. You can make it as simple or as rich as you prefer. Here I am sharing with you a basic pulao recipe that I always make at home. It comes super handy for lunch box too.
This is one such recipe where scaling up is a breeze. If you want to make for a crowd, just double or triple the ingredients, use a suitable pot or pan and your are all set.
We love this rice pilaf piping hot with a simple onion raita at home. Do try this out and enjoy!
This Veg Pulao Recipe Is
Vegetarian & gluten free
Can be easily made vegan
Fluffy, fragrant & very delicious
ridiculously easy to make
one pot, ready in 30 minutes
wholesome meal for kids
This vegetable pulao recipe I am sharing here is really delicious. Very mildly spiced, flavorful with correct balance of rice and vegetables.
I make this veg pulao recipe very often for lunch box. If you have the chopped vegetables handy this veg pulao is easy to make with in 20 minutes.
On days when we don’t feel like cooking elaborate courses like sambar , rasam we can make this delicious north Indian vegetable pulao. This dish tastes very good with a simple raita or even some crispy vadam.
If you want to include more veggies in the diet of your toddlers and kids, this vegetable pulao is a best one to try. You can even reduce the spices and make this more mild.
Kids will love this rice dish with a simple raita or some potato chips.
I have already shared a recipe for easy pressure cooker pulao and this veg pulao recipe is more elaborate and authentic. This is a real easy recipe, total time taken is less than 45 minutes.
So do try out this delicious vegetable pulao when you want something quick, delicious and different! Read on for my recipe, tips and notes!
Difference Between Biryani and Veg Pulao?
While both pulao and biryani are rice recipes with meat or vegetables there is a lot of difference in the way they are made as well as in taste.
Veg pulao is a one pot rice dish where you saute and cook, veggies and rice together with whole spices. The sauteed rice veggie mixture is cooked in water until rice is done and fluffy. Vegetable pulao is light, mildly spiced dish with delicate flavors.
Whereas biryani is a more complex dish with elaborate procedure. In biryani rice and veggies are half cooked separately and layered with fried onions, nuts etc. Biryani is made with loads of ghee, so it is rich and heavy.
Which Rice Is Best Suited For Vegetable Pulao?
You can use any long grained rice like basmati rice for making veg pulao.
Aged rice works well for this recipe. Soak the basmati rice well in water for 30 minutes, drain and dry in a wide plate before using.
The quantity of depends on the age of your rice. If you use well aged rice use 1 cup rice :2.5 cups water as rice to water ratio. If your rice is new and starchy use 2 cups water for 1 cup rice.
Which Vegetables Can We Use In This Recipe?
Vegetables like potato, carrot, beans, green peas and cauliflower can be added in this recipe. You can also add corn, mushrooms can be added.
It would be nice to add all the veggies but you can make this pulao with two or more above mentioned veggies. Do not use vegetables like okra, eggplant or tomato in this recipe.
Methods To Cook Pulao.
You can make this recipe in various methods. You can use a heavy pan with lid as mentioned in this recipe, that is the traditional method. Other ways are
Using a pressure cooker– The recipe remains the same with some changes in water quantity. Use 1/4 cup more water if using pressure cooker.
In microwave– To make veg pulao in microwave select a deep microwave safe bowl. Add oil or ghee and microwave for a minute in high. Add the whole spices and micro on high for a minute.
Next add the ginger garlic, chilies and finely chopped onions. Microwave for 2 minutes. Add the veggies, mix well and microwave for 3 minutes.
Finally add rice with water and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes. remove and check if the rice is done, else microwave for 2 more minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve hot.
Electric rice cooker- Heat oil in a pan and saute the spices, onions and vegetables. Combined soaked and drained rice, fry for a minute.
Transfer this to the pot of your rice cooker and add water. Switch it on and cook just like regular rice.
Instant pot– The instructions are same as pressure cooker, see recipe card for details.
Tips To Make Good Pulao Recipe
Here are some simple tips that will take your vegetable pulao to top notch.
Rice– Always soak the rice well before using. Drain and roast the rice for 2 minutes if possible for best flavor. otherwise drain and dry the rice well on a wide plate before using in the recipe.
Basmati rice has a unique aroma and adds so much flavor to this pilaf.
Lemon juice– You can add few drops of lemon juice along with water. Adding lemon juice makes the rice fluffy and grains separate and cooked rice is more white.
Water– The quantity of water varies depending on how aged is the rice you are using. For very aged riced you can use 2.5 cups water for 1 cup rice. Generally 2 cups of water it is for 1 cup rice.
Ratio of water to rice is the key to get fluffy pulao with grains separate. Water quantity depends on the rice quality, so you have to experiment once or twice to know how much water your rice exactly needs.
More Notes On Veg Pulao
Spices– Whole spices are used flavoring the pulao recipe. We generally use bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon stick in this recipe. You can also use star anise and mace as optional ingredients.Instead of whole spices you can use 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder.
Pulao Masala– If you do not have whole spices handy, you can use a combination of garam masala powder and store bought pulao masala powder.
Ginger garlic– Ginger garlic imparts a wonderful flavor to this recipe, so please do not skip them. If freshly minced ginger garlic is not available use store bought ginger garlic paste.
Herbs- Some coriander leaves and mint leaves are added for flavor. While I recommend adding both you can use whichever is available.
Ghee– Ghee imparts a rich and wonderful flavor to this vegetable pulao. Vegans can use oil.
Flavor Enhancements– There are many ways you can enhance the flavor of your vegetable pulao.
- add fried onion before serving.
- You can add 2 tablespoons saffron infused milk along with water while cooking
- Instead of water you can vegetable broth or thin coconut milk too.
- Add 2 tablespoons ghee and mix gently before serving.
While cooking– After adding drained rice to the cooked vegetables, saute the rice very well for a minute or two. This will coat the ghee in rice grains, make rice more flavorful.
If you are a beginner, be careful while frying the rice. If you do it vigorously the grains will break.
After adding water, mix only once gently, bring the water to rolling boil and then close the pan. Lower the fame and cook for 6-8 minutes.
Do not open the pan while rice is cooking. This will let the steam escape. Also do not keep stirring the rice grains while cooking. Grains will break.
Once the rice is cooked, keep the pan closed for 5 minutes. Then open, gently fluff up and serve. If you follow these tips your veg pulao will turn out exactly as seen in the photo below 🙂
With all these tips and tricks, this is one real easy and best veg pulao recipe you will make at home. Try it out for parties, get together, festivals or just a weekend treat for your family.
Serve veg pulao with onion raita, dhaba dal, palak paneer, korma etc.
Step By Step Method
1. Pick and rinse the basmati rice thoroughly. Soak in plenty of water for 1 hour. Drain and spread on a plate.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil or ghee in a heavy pan. Add the whole spices namely bay leaf, cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon stick, cumin seeds and saute for a minute.
3. Add chopped onions and saute well.
4. Add ginger,garlic and green chillies and saute well.
5. Add chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves and saute for few seconds. Add chopped vegetables and mix well. Cook in open pan for 7-10 minutes. If using garam masala powder instead of whole spices add now.
6. Add the drained basmati rice and saute very well. Saute till all the moisture in rice is gone.
7. Now add 3 1/3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Mix well. Add lemon juice. Season with salt.
8. Once the water bubbles, close the pan with a tight lid. Cook in low medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Do not mix more than once in the middle.
9. Once done, keep the pan closed for 10 minutes. Open the pan and fluff up the rice gently.
10. Serve vegetable pulao hot with raita.
Refer recipe card below for Instant pot version.
Best Easy Veg Pulao
1 CUP = 250 ml
- 1 1/4 cups basmati rice Rinsd, soaked in water for 20 minutes and drained.
- 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 black cardamom
- 2 green cardamoms
- 2 cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 1 inch ginger root peeled and minced
- 3/4 cup green peas fresh or frozen
- 2 green chillies
- 1 big potato peeled and cubed, 1/2 cup
- 1 big carrot peeled and chopped, 3/4 cup
- 8 beans chopped
- 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 cups water
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
- 15 fried cashews optional
- Pick and rinse the basmati rice thoroughly. Soak in plenty of water for 1 hour. Drain and spread on a plate.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil or ghee in a heavy pan. Add the whole spices from bay leaf, 1 inch cinnamom stick, cardamoms, cloves, cumin seeds and saute for a minute.
- Add chopped onions and saute well.
- Add ginger,garlic and green chillies and saute well.
- Add chopped cilantro leaves and saute for few seconds. Add chopped vegetables and mix well. Cook in open pan for 7-10 minutes. If you are using garam masala powder add now.
- Add the drained basmati rice and saute very well. Saute till all the moisture in rice is gone.
- Now add 3 1/3 cups of water. Mix well. Add lemon juice. Season with salt. Cook with keeping pan open until the water starts to boil.
- Once the water bubbles, close the pan with a tight lid. Cook in low medium flame for about 10-15 minutes. Do not mix more than once in the middle.
- Once done, keep the pan closed for 10 minutes. Open the pan and fluff up the rice gently. Add the fried cashews and mix. Serve hot.
Instant Pot Pulao
- Place the inner pot or insert inside your instant pot
- Press saute button and once it displays hot add the ghee or oil.
- Add the whole spices and fry until fragdran.
- Add chopped onions, ginger garlic and cilantro leaves. Saute well for 2 minutes.
- Next add chopped vegetables and mix well.
- Saute the veegetables well for 4-5 minutes . If using garam masala powder instead of whole spices add now.
- Now add drained rice and fry the rice well for a minute.
- Now add water and salt to taste.
- Cancel saute, close the instant pot and set pressure valve to seal. Press pressure cooker button and set timer to 5 minutes.
- Once done, relase pressure manually and fluf up the rice. Add fried cashews and mix. Serve vegetable pulao hot
This veg pulao is five star recipe. I have made it so many times for family and guests. It turns out yum!
Shivani Raj says
The best pulao recipe I ever made. the taste and flavor was outstanding. I want to make this for 50 people. Working on scaling up the recipe. Thanks a lot harini!
Hi, this veg pulao turned out so very good. Thank you!
Love at first bite 🤩. Made this recipe last night as I am trying to eat more plant based meals and it turned out so so good. I had only short grained rice and yet it was so yummy. Will try with basmati for sure. Thank you so much.
Nice recipes harini. Do you have a recipe for vegan fried rice yet?
Yes, I do, please search veg fried in search box.
thank you so much for your kind words.
Pamila Goldberg says
Hey there, I greatly appreciate you for this well written recipe. I made it yesterday and it was a breeze to follow your recipe. Pilaf turned out exactly as yours. Thanks a lot.
You are so welcome!