Aha Indian Restaurant

Are you looking for a wholesome and flavorful one-pot meal? Veg Pulav, also known as Veg Pulao, is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side. This aromatic rice dish, loaded with mixed vegetables and fragrant spices, is perfect for any occasion. In this blog, we will explore how to make Veg Pulav, its variations, and some delicious side dishes to complement it.

What is Veg Pulav?

Veg Pulav, also spelt as Veg Pulao, is a popular Indian rice dish made with basmati rice, mixed vegetables, and a blend of aromatic spices. It is a staple in Indian households and is often served at special occasions and festivals. The beauty of Veg Pulav lies in its simplicity and the burst of flavours it offers with each bite.

Ingredients for Veg Pulav

To prepare a delicious Veg Pulav, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, beans, potatoes)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 2-3 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Water or vegetable stock

Veg Pulav Recipe

How to Make Veg Pulav

  1. Rinse and Soak Rice: Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 20-30 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  2. Sauté Vegetables: In a large pan or pressure cooker, heat ghee or oil. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon sticks. Sauté until fragrant. Add the sliced onions and cook until golden brown.
  3. Add Spices and Vegetables: Stir in the ginger-garlic paste, slit green chillies, and chopped tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes soften. Add the mixed vegetables and sauté for a few minutes. Season with turmeric powder, garam masala, and salt.
  4. Add Rice and Cook: Add the soaked and drained rice to the pan. Stir gently to combine with the vegetables and spices. Add 2 cups of water or vegetable
  5. stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the rice is fully cooked and the water is absorbed.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Once the Veg Pulav is cooked, fluff the rice with a fork. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.

Veg Pulav Variations

Veg Pulav with Coconut Milk

For a richer and creamier version, you can add coconut milk. Replace half of the water with coconut milk when cooking the rice. This adds a subtle sweetness and enhances the flavour of the pulav.

Veg Pulav in Instant Pot

Making Veg Pulav in an Instant Pot is quick and convenient. Follow the same steps as above but use the sauté mode for initial cooking. After adding the rice and water, pressure cook on high for 5 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally.

Veg Paneer Pulav

Add paneer cubes to the Veg Pulav for a protein-rich variation. Fry the paneer cubes until golden brown and add them along with the vegetables.

Veg Pulav Without Onion and Garlic

For a no-onion, no-garlic version, simply skip the onions and garlic. The dish will still be flavorful with the other spices and vegetables.

Side Dishes for Veg Pulav


Raita, a yogurt-based side dish, is a perfect cooling accompaniment to Veg Pulav. You can make cucumber raita, boondi raita, or onion-tomato raita.


A fresh salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and carrots adds a crunchy contrast to the soft rice.


Indian pickles, such as mango pickles or lemon pickles, add a tangy and spicy kick to the meal.


Crispy papads (poppadoms) provide a delightful crunch and are a traditional side for pulao.


Veg Pulav is a delicious and nutritious dish that is easy to make and versatile enough for any meal. Whether you prefer it plain or with variations like coconut milk or paneer, this vegetarian pulao recipe is sure to be a hit. Pair it with your favourite side dishes for a complete and satisfying meal. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a flavorful and wholesome dish, give Veg Pulav a try and enjoy the rich tapestry of Indian cuisine.