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Vegetable Pulao
(Basmati Rice with Vegetables)

Although this is not strictly a pulao --  which is made by adding raw rice, water, spices and vegetables to a pot -- the end result works wonderfully well. I actually use this version to use up leftover rice and vegetables, and it makes a terrific side dish to your favorite curry.

Top view of a bowl of Vegetable Pulao by Simon Majumdar

Vegetable Pulao Recipe

(Serves About 4-6)



  • 2 Cups Basmati Rice (Cook to instructions and allow to cool)

  • 1 Yellow Onion (Diced)

  • 3 Cloves Garlic (Finely Minced)

  • 1 Inch Fresh Ginger (Finely Minced)

  • 2 Serrano Chili (De-seeded and Minced)

  • 1 Cinnamon Stick

  • 3 Green Cardamom Pods

  • 2 Bay Leaf

  • 2 Cloves

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric

  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • ½ Cup Fresh or Frozen English Peas

  • 2 Carrots (Diced)

  • ¼ Cabbage (Diced)

  • ¼ Cup Cilantro Leaf (Finely Chopped)

  • Vegetable Oil or Ghee for cooking

  • 1 Tablespoon Butter or Ghee for garnish


  1. Add the oil to a deep sided saucepan and bring to a medium heat.

  2. Add the onions and season with salt.

  3. Cook the onions for five minutes.

  4. Add the ginger, garlic and Serrano chili. Cook for five minutes.

  5. Add the ground spices and combine well. Cook on a gentle heat for five minutes. If they begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a tiny amount of water.

  6. Add all of the vegetables.

  7. Place a cover on the pan and cook on a gentle heat for five minutes.

  8. Remove the cover and add the rice. Gently fold the rice and vegetables together. The rice should begin to take on a golden brown color from the spices.

  9. Replace the cover and cook on a gentle heat for five minutes to warm through the rice.

  10. Before serving, mix through the butter or ghee for richness and sprinkle with chopped coriander.

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