Simple Veg Pulao Recipe

Simple Veg Pulao Recipe

Posted on 6 সেপ্টেম্বর, 2023

What could be more comforting than a steaming warm bowl of spicy, veg pulao? The dish is a comfort food for many and is super easy to make. A complete meal, veg pulao is the heart and soul of many people’s dining tables. Much like the different cuisines of India, veg pulao is quite a diverse dish. Tawa pulao, yakhni pulao, Kashmiri pulao, peas pulao- the list seems endless. Then, some have a variant of pulao similar to veg biryani. The fun part is different households in the country often use their specific ingredients or techniques for making pulao.

Are you getting confused in the culinary world of pulao? Don’t be because we have the perfect veg pulao recipe for you. It is a quick and simple-to-make recipe. Fun fact: you can change the ingredients and give the dish different makeovers. Shall we get cooking then?

Easy and Quick Vegetable Pulao Recipe

As we said, you can make veg pulao rice in different ways. We have a recipe that you can follow step-by-step and get an absolutely delicious plate of pulao each time. We will also mention some good substitutes to make different types of veg pulao for your meals.

Veg Pulao Ingredients

Before you begin, keep your basic prep ready – so you get done in no time! Your pre-cooking prep will take around 15 minutes. You will need another 20 minutes for cooking, and the veg pulao will be ready! 

Here, we share a list of ingredients for up to four servings of vegetable pulao

  • Aged Basmati rice - 1.5 cups
  • Water - as needed for soaking the rice and 3 cups for cooking
  • Ghee/vegetable oil - 3 tablespoons
  • Vegetables
    • Cauliflower (chopped) - ½ or ¾ cup 
    • Potatoes (chopped) - ½ or ¾ cup 
    • Green peas (chopped) - ⅓ cup 
    • Green beans (chopped) - ¼ cup 
    • Green bell pepper (chopped) - ¼ cup 
    • Baby corn (chopped) - ¼ cup 
    • Carrots (chopped) - ¼ cup 
  • Herbs and spices
    • Onions (sliced) - 1 cup
    • Tomatoes (chopped) - ½ cup 
    • Ginger (paste) - 1 teaspoon
    • Garlic (paste) - 1 teaspoon
    • Green chillies (chopped) - 1 or 2
    • Coriander leaves (chopped) - 3 tablespoons
    • Mint leaves (chopped) - 2 tablespoon
    • Lemon juice - ¼ teaspoon (optional)
    • Salt - to taste
  • Whole spices
    • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
    • Black pepper (whole) - 5 or 6
    • Bay leaf - 1
    • Cloves - 4
    • Green cardamoms - 3 or 4
    • Black cardamom - 1 (optional)
    • Mace - 1 (optional)
    • Star anise -  1 (optional)
    • Cinnamon - 1 small piece

Step 1: Preparations for the Vegetable Pulao

Here are the basic preparations you will need for your veg pulao.

  • Rinse the Basmati rice well with water. The water should be transparent, and there should be no starch left.
  • Soak the rice for 20 to 30 minutes in water. Then, drain the water and keep the rice aside. 
  • Rinse all the vegetables. Chop them. Use a vegetable chopper to get it done quickly. Ensure to slice the onions and chop the tomatoes, chillies, coriander, and mint leaves. 
  • Make the ginger and garlic paste.

Step 2: Start Cooking the Vegetable Pulao

Now, the actual cooking starts!

  • Place a deep-bottom frying pan or kadai on the stove. It will be best to use a pot with a lid. Or you can use a pressure cooker. 
  • Pour some oil and start tampering with the whole spices. 
  • Throw in the onions and stir till golden brown. Keep the heat on medium-low.
  • It’s time to add the ginger and garlic paste. Make sure to cook it until the raw smell is gone. 
  • Add the tomatoes and stir for a while.
  • Add the chopped vegetables and cook for 1 or 2 minutes. 
  • Put some mint and coriander leaves at this stage and keep the rest for garnish.
  • Pour the soaked rice. Ensure to mix well so that all the rice grains are covered with the oil and spice mix.
  • Add the water. If you want a hint of lemon, add the lemon juice also. 
  • Do a final taste. Add salt or any other flavourings if needed. 
  • Cook the pulao with a lid until the rice is cooked and the water has dried. 
  • Check your pulao by breaking the fluffy rice grains to see if the rice is cooked. If the rice is not cooked properly, add more water and cook for a few more minutes. 
  • If you use a pressure cooker, give it two or three whistles. We suggest checking after two whistles and returning to the heat for another whistle if the rice is still not cooked.

Step 3: Serve Your Vegetable Pulao

Eating is the best part of any cooking, and why wait any longer when your veg pulao is ready? Serve it on a nice plate, sprinkle some mint and coriander leaves, and dig in! You can pair the pulao with some salad, raita, curd, or even curry - we leave it up to you!

Want to Spice up Your Pulao Recipe?

This recipe is all you need for a succulent plate of veg pulao each time. But sometimes, we do like to spice things up a bit!

  • Add coconut milk for a rich and creamy pulao rice recipe.
  • Add vegetable stock for a healthier and more delicious taste.
  • Put cashews, almonds, raisins, and other dry fruits you like.
  • Some saffron strands or a light splash of rose water make even the simplest veg pulao very aromatic.
  • A piece of stone flower or Dagad Phool will enhance the fragrance of the dish.
  • Sliced onions fried until crisp golden brown will be a fancy garnish. 

Some Pro Tips

Keep the following tips in mind when you are making veg pulao.

  • You can use other types of long-grain rice in your cooking, but aged Basmati always gives the best dish.
  • If you are unsure about the rice and water ratio, the 1:2 is always a good place to start. Pour two cups of water for each cup of rice. Add more water if needed later.
  • Do not saute the vegetables for too long before adding the rice, as they will become mushy during the final cooking stage.
  • You can still make veg pulao if you haven’t presoaked the rice. You will just have to add more water and cook it for longer. 


Veg pulao is a hit for both lunch and dinner. With this simple recipe, you are sorted when you are hungry and need something quickly. Try adding different things and see which combinations of ingredients you like the best. Also, when you want to clear your fridge and use leftover vegetables, you can whip up a veg pulao using this recipe, and you will be good to go!


  • Can I skip the bay leaf while making veg pulao?
  • Yes. You can skip the bay leaf, but we suggest adding bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, and cumin seeds as they make the dish aromatic.

  •  Can I make veg pulao with only one or two types of vegetables?
  • Yes, you can make fewer or more types of vegetables in your pulao. If you are using one or two types of vegetables, increase the amount from ½ or ¾ cup to 1 or 2 cups.

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