Vegetable pulao step-by-step recipe with photos.
About this recipes
Vegetable pulao is rice and vegetables cooked together with flavorful and aromatic spices. This Karnataka-style veg pulao is prepared in a different way, where the spices are ground together with greens and coconut. It is also popularly known as veg palav or rice bath ('bath' means any flavoured rice dish). This one-pot meal is absolutely wholesome with veggies, greens, and rice. Raita or plain yogurt is a perfect accompaniment to this dish. This rice bath is perfect for lunchboxes and potlucks. Make the masala base ahead and store it for quick and easy weekday meals.
The masala base of veg palav is a bit similar to the masala prepared for vegetable saagu but subtly different. Don't worry about the list of ingredients you see. Rice bath is a really simple dish and can be easily made even if you are a beginner.
Read on for ingredients, tips, and all FAQs to make perfect healthy veg palav.
Rice: I use Basmati rice to make pulao.
Vegetables: I use potato, carrot, green beans, peas, cauliflower, and capsicum.
Onion, ginger, garlic: Onion is used in two ways - finely chopped and diced. The diced onion, along with ginger and garlic, is added to the masala paste.
Coconut: Fresh coconut is a key ingredient and is added to the masala base.
Spices: The whole spices I use are bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, marathi moggu (Kapok buds), poppy seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds.
Herbs: I use coriander leaves, mint leaves, and curry leaves.
Tips for making delicious pulao
Use Basmati rice to make the pulao. Not only does Basmati rice have a great aroma, but it also has long grains that if cooked correctly, are separate, non-lumpy, and do not stick to each other.
Wash the Basmati rice thoroughly in running water. Once it is washed, soak it for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Soaking the rice is an important step while making any kind of pulao and is often overlooked. Washing and soaking the rice will help to remove excess starch from the rice and achieve a non-sticky texture to the pulao.
The amount of water I have used here gives the perfect texture to the rice. I add 3 cups of water to 2 cups of Basmati rice.
I use around 4 cups of vegetables for 2 cups of rice, making it loaded with veggies. You may change the quantity as per your preference.
Bay leaves are a key ingredient - do not skip them. In fact, they are called 'palav elle' in Kannada (translating to leaf used in pulao - 'elle' means leaf).
For an authentic veg palav, add all the spices mentioned. At a minimum, add cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.
When making the masala paste, grind the whole spices first into a fine powder. Then add the rest of the ingredients and grind with water. If you add everything together, the spices may not grind well.
Make sure the masala base is cooked well and the excess moisture is dried before adding the vegetables.
The masala base can be made and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. I often keep 1-2 batches of this green masala base in my freezer. That way, all I have to do is cook it with vegetables, soaked rice, and water for a quick and easy meal.
Just before serving vegetable pulao, add crouton bread. To make crouton, cut bread slices into small cubes and fry them in ghee until golden.
Click here for more Karnataka recipes.
In Kannada, 'bath' means a rice-based dish or a preparation made with rice. This veg palav (or pulao) is also popularly known as rice bath or veg rice bath in restaurants.
This Karnatak style green pulao is wholesome in itself and tastes good with raita, plain yogurt, and spicy boondi.
There are two reasons for this to happen - not soaking the rice and adding too much water to cook the rice.
Potato, carrot, peas, green beans, and capsicum are commonly used in pulao. Other vegetables that can be used are corn, beetroot, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. Soya chunks can also be used in this pulao. You can also add crouton bread just before serving.
Pulao can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. The masala base can be frozen and stored.
While the pulao itself may not be stored in the freezer, the masala paste can be. Cook the masala paste as per this recipe, cool it completely and store it in the freezer. When you want to use it, add vegetables, rice, and water to it and cook as per this recipe.
Both pulao and biryani are rice-based dishes. While pulao is made mostly with rice and vegetables cooked together, biryani is made by first making a gravy (either of vegetables or meat). The way rice is cooked is also different. In pulao, soaked rice is added along with vegetables and cooked while in biryani, the rice is parboiled first and then layered with the prepared gravy.
This vegetable pulao is:
- adaptable to be vegan by replacing ghee with oil
- wholesome one-pot meal
- delicious and unique
- very easy to make and suitable for beginners
- perfect for lunchboxes and potlucks
Step by step instructions
1. Grind the whole spices into a fine powder (poppy seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, marathi moggu, fennel seeds)
2. To this, add coconut, onion, ginger, garlic, green chilli, coriander leaves, mint leaves. Grind into a smooth paste adding some water
3. Heat ghee and add mustard seeds. Once it crackles, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, and bay leaves
4. Add onions and fry until it is translucent
4. Add the ground paste to it and mix well. Cover and simmer until the masala is cooked and the oil beings to release
5. Increase the heat and dry out excess moisture
6. Add the vegetables and salt. Mix well
7. Add the soaked rice and water. Bring to a boil
8. Cover and simmer until the rice is completely cooked
9. Gently mix the rice
Vegetable pulao | Karnataka style Veg Pulao
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 1 medium potato
- 1 small carrot
- 10-12 green beans
- ½ cup cauliflower
- ¼ cup peas
- ½ cup capsicum (I used a mix of red and green)
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 bay leaf
- 6-8 curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups water
To grind together:
- ½ bunch coriander leaves
- A handful mint leaves
- ½ cup coconut grated
- 2-3 green chilli or as per taste
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 inch ginger
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 5 cardamom
- 5 cloves
- 2 marathi moggu
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- Wash the rice thoroughly and soak for about 20 minutes. Strain and keep aside
- Cut the vegetables and set aside
- Grind the whole spices into a fine powder (poppy seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, marathi moggu, fennel seeds)
- To this, add coconut, onion, ginger, garlic, green chilli, coriander leaves, mint leaves. Grind into a smooth paste adding some water
- Heat ghee and add mustard seeds. Once it crackles, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, and bay leaves
- Add onions and fry until it is translucent
- Add the ground paste to it and mix well. Cover and simmer until the masala is completely cooked and the oil beings to release
- Increase the heat and dry out excess moisture
- Add the cut vegetables, and salt. Mix well
- Add the soaked rice along with 3 cups of water. Bring it to boil
- Once the water boils, reduce heat to a minimum, cover and cook until the rice is completely done (about 20 minutes)
- Mix gently. Serve hot with raita
- You can use a rice cooker to make this dish. Once the spice mix and vegetables are ready, add it to the rice cooker along with the rest of the ingredients and cook. If using rice cooker use 3.5 cups water for 2 cups rice
- To make raita, whisk yogurt, mix finely chopped cucumber, onion and tomatoes. season with salt and some chilli powder
Click here to watch veg pulao web story.