Vegetable Pulav | Gluten, Dairy, Casein, Lactose free | Eggless

Today I felt a little lazy to cook a full meal – Rice or rotis, gravy and dry sabzi. I would have loved to order a meal but I am afraid thats not possible with my son around. He hates eating hotel/packed meals as he self-righteously informs me that it is unhealthy and unhygienic! I eventually give in to his argument every time – and today was no exception.

I reluctantly looked into my fridge and found that I had quite an assortment of vegetables – String beans, shelled green peas, carrots and corn!! I love the months between November and March – Its spring time and a good variety of fresh vegetables are usually available at reasonable prices at this time of the year!! I decided upon making pulav or pulao or pilaf.

Pulao is basically a North Indian preparation (The South Indian version would be veg. biryani or bisi bele bath which will come along in further posts), easy to make, requires less time for the cutting – I enjoy cutting vegetables so I prefer a knife rather than a food processor – and a full nutritious meal by itself!!

Here’s how I go about it:

Recipe: Vegetable Pulav | Gluten, Dairy, Casein, Lactose free | Eggless
The way it is made in North – Indian homes

Ingredients: (Serves 3 adults)

Rice (Preferably long grained) – 2 cups
(Wash, drain and keep aside)

Water – 41/2 cups
Oil – 2 Tbsp.
Cumin seeds – 1tsp.
Ginger (Julienned) – 1 inch long piece
Green chillies(Slitted longitudinally) – 1 (More if you like spicy food!)
Whole spices: 3 Cloves, 2 cardomoms – crushed, 1 bayleaf, and 1 inch cinnamon
I generally put them whole unless we have guests
(The alternative is to crush them and tie the spices into a small bundle of clean white cloth and just put in along with the vegetables and remove at the end – I usually seal the spices in a egg shaped 1 cup tea maker! (It works really well and feels cleaner) – akin to a bouquet garnier)

Onions (Sliced thin) – 1 medium sized
String beans(Clean, Sliced longitudinally and cut about an inch long) – 5 to 10
Peas (Shelled and washed) – 1/2 cup
Corn – 1/4 cup
Carrot ( Julienned – A little thicker than matchsticks) – 1
Potato (Sliced thick as for french fries) – 1
(You may add a thickly sliced tomato and other firm vegetables if you like)
Salt, turmeric (Optional) to suit your taste
Chilly powder-1/2 tsp.(Optional)
Coriander leaves (Cleaned and chopped roughly) – About 5 stems

Heat the oil in pressure cooker. Add the cumin seeds, ginger, green chillies and the whole spices.

When these crackle add the onions. Saute till the colour changes and add the vegetables. Saute for about five minutes.

Add 4 cups of water (Double the amount of rice) plus 1/2 cup for the vegetables. Add salt to taste. I like a tinge of yellow so I add 1/4tsp. of turmeric powder and 1/4 tsp. of chilly powder too – This is optional. Mix well.

When the mixture simmers put the lid on and the whistle. (If you are going to make a bouquet garnier instead of using whole spice drop it in before putting the lid on)

Keep on medium heat for about 8 minutes and on sim for 5 minutes or when the whistle is just about to shoot. Turn off the gas and wait for the cooker to cool off completely.

Garnish the prepared pulav with coriander leaves and roasted cashews for a nice effect and serve with fresh curd, raita or chole too.

Tomato rice:
You may reduce a cup of water and instead add 3/4 cup of tomato puree diluted with 1/4 cup water – This leads to tomato rice which is my daughter’s fave.

Mint rice:
Substitute a cup of water with 1/2 cup of mint pureed with 1/2 cup of water. Usually mint rice is made with very few vegetables or with none at all.

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Have your say

  1. Sunshine mom
    thanks. I made this last week and it came out perfect. I have been making pulav all the time, but always it would come out dry-the reason being I would cook it in a kadai with a lid on top. this is because somebody told me not to cook in the pressure cooker as the rice will stick together. And every time i would fret because the taste would be there but the rice would be dry. this time i followed your instructions about the cooker and the rice ca,me out was just right.
    now I am waiting to try tomato rice- only could you tell me how to make the puree. some say include seeds, some say don’t. maybe you should do a post:). also how do we make home-made tomato paste. Thanks once again. I made coconut butter today-delicious.

  2. Oh good! I am so glad you commented here! I know this timing works perfectly but no one gave a feedback till now! I have posted the tomato rice in a separate post here. I have added a step on how to make the puree. It is simple. I puree the tomatoes after chopping the into chunks – skin and seeds included!

    Home made tomato paste:
    Pre-heat oven to 160 deg. C. Add chopped tomatoes with sea salt and 3 tbsps. olive oil. Bake for 3-4 hrs tossing twice or thrice in between just to check that it does not burn. It won’t but better to check. It will dry up and crinkle, and cool. Grind into a paste.

    If you do not have an oven: Heat olive oil in a wok. Add tomatoes and sea salt. Keep cooking first on medium heat and later on sim till it dries up. This will require continuous attention but it is faster than an oven. Cool and grind. You can flavour with herbs if you like. I always add thyme leaves towards the end.

    I will make a post on this sometime. Did not think about it earlier. Thanks for the tip!

    Also happy that you liked the coconut butter. Yes, it is so delicious!

  3. Thanks again… Its a great feeling to know there is somebody to go to when in doubt…for me ‘sunshine mom’ is the online equivalent of my mom who I can call anytime. Looking fwd to ur post…already thinking of how drool-some the picture of your tomato puree is going to look…

  4. With pleasure, Bharathi!

  5. Hi Harini….I simply love ur website…..I read all the recipies u post, however never attempted to give my feedback (very sorry!). Every recipe of urs sounds so delicious .I was born vegetarian but turned vegan because of my dear husband and I am loving being vegan, however it was so difficult to give away certain dairy products…..but all thanks to you for coming out with creative vegan recipies…:-)
    When I badly trying to find substitute for yogurt, while browsing thru different websites, I landed on ur site and found cashew yogurt and since then, every single day I browse ur website and everyday I feel more and more in love with it….When I visit India next (Mumbai) will certainly plan to meet you!

    ….with lots of love..

  6. Hi Jayshree, we will definitely meet! I am glad you find the site helpful, and I am grateful that you took time to let me know about this. Much appreciated! Thank you, for reading, for inspiring, for the feedback and for sharing your vegan experience! You will never regret the choice. 🙂

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