Veg pulao is a one-pot wonder meal - a healthy, complete meal-in-in-one. Veg pulao or Veg pilaf as it is sometimes called is a one-pot dish you can make with veggies and basmati rice, spiced with whole spices and turmeric.
About this recipe
If you are looking for a quick recipe for a weeknight meal, you can make this in under 30 minutes in an Instant Pot and pair it with a Vegetable Raita, a quick 5-minute side dish.
What is the mark of a good Veg Pulao? Long, fluffy grains of rice which retain their shape and are flavorful. I usually make most of my rice dishes in the Instant Pot – from Instant Pot Egg Biryani to Instant Pot Jasmine rice, the rice comes out perfectly cooked every single time.
Here is all you will need to make Vegetable pulao.
(head to the end of this page for the detailed ingredient measures)
Rice - Use long-grained Basmati rice for best results. Before cooking the rice, soak it in enough water to cover it completely, for 20-30 minutes. Then drain the water and rinse the rice. This step will help ensure excess starch leaves the rice and helps the grains of rice stay intact.
Veggies - Use a mixture of carrots, potatoes, green peas (frozen), green beans, bell peppers. I have used fresh veggies but you can also use frozen vegetables for the pulao.
Onions - Use red or yellow onions, thinly sliced.
Spices powders - Use basic spices, such as turmeric (haldi) and garam masala
Whole spices - Star anise, bay leaves, cumin, cardamom, black cardamom, cloves.
Green Chilies - Use green chilies or bird's eye chili for extra spice and flavor.
Cashews - Cashews are optional, I like using them for texture and flavor
Cooking rice in the Instant Pot is super easy and stress-free if you follow this basic step-by-step recipe. I’ve shared steps with images to make it easier for you to follow along.
Start by soaking the rice in enough cold water to cover it completely. The rice should be soaked for 20-30 minutes.
In the Instant Pot, heat ghee (or vegetable oil) in Saute mode. Add the sliced onions, whole spices and green chilies. Saute until onions start to brown (approx. 4 minutes).
Add the chopped tomatoes, cashew nuts, turmeric and garam masala, ginger garlic paste.
Add the veggies to the Instant Pot and saute for a minute more. Add the rice (drain the soaking water and rinse the rice before adding). Add the green peas and enough water to just submerge the rice (see measurements in the recipe card below).
Pressure cook for 4 minutes. After the cooking cycle is complete and the Instant Pot begins to beep, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes (NPR). Then manually release pressure (QPR) and open the lid.
Instant Pot Vegetable Pulao is not ready to be served! Serve it with your favorite Indian Recipes or simply have it with some vegetable raita or plain yogurt on the side.
Vegetable Pulao Recipe (Instant Pot Pulao)
- Pressure cooker
- 1 ¼ cup Basmati rice Use long grain basmati rice for best results
- 2 tablespoons Ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 Red onion thinly sliced
- 2 green chilies
- 1 tomato chopped
- 7-8 Cashews
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
- 2 potatoes diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1/3 cup Green beans chopped
- 1/3 cup green peas
- 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Salt adjust as per your taste
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 green cardamom pods
- 1 black cardamom pod
- 1 inch whole cinnamin stick
- 4-5 cloves
- 1 star anise
- Start by soaking the rice in 3 cups of cold water for 20-30 minutes. Keep aside. Drain the water and rinse the rice after soaking.
- In the Instant Pot, heat ghee (or vegetable oil) in Saute mode.
- Add the sliced onions, whole spices and green chilies. Saute until onions start to brown ( 3-4 minutes).
- Add the chopped tomatoes, cashew nuts, turmeric and garam masala, ginger garlic paste.
- Add the veggies to the Instant Pot and saute for a minute more.
- Add the rinsed pre-soaked rice. Add the green peas, salt, lemon juice, 1.5 cups water.
- Make sure you deglaze the pot - using a spatula ensure that there are e no bits of residue sticking to the bottom of the instant pot - this can trigger a 'burn' error.
- Pressure cook for 4 minutes. After the cooking cycle is complete and the Instant Pot begins to beep, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes (NPR). Then manually release pressure (QPR) and open the lid.
- Instant Pot Vegetable Pulao is now ready to be served! with vegetable raita as part of a menu.