vegetable pulao, one pot rice dish, 30 minute recipe
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30-minute One Pot Vegetable Pulao Recipe {Rice Dish}

An easy 30-minute one pot vegetable pulao, a fragrant, delicious and wholesome rice dish. Much simpler than a biryani, this veg pulao dish is an equally ideal week night meal as it is for festive occasions. Can be made in an instant pot or pressure cooker for an even quicker rendition.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mauritian
Keyword: pulao, vegetable pulao
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 442kcal
Author: Teenuja Dahari -


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 825 ml water [3½ cups]
  • 150 g cauliflower head [about ¼ head], cut into small florets
  • 1 small potato diced
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • 65 g frozen green peas [½ cup]
  • 185 g brown or regular cooked chickpeas [1 cup]
  • 1 small or medium small or medium onion or 2-3 shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger it’s easy to make your own in advance, see notes
  • ½ teaspoon tamarind paste or 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves cilantro or mint leaves, for garnish


  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin or same amount whole cumin
  • ½ teaspoon whole cumin or more ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala or substitute with more cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg with a pinch of black pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 - 2 bay leaves depending on size
  • 4 - 5 cloves
  • 4 - 5 juniper berries optional
  • 3 green cardamom pods or ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 - 2 red chillis or chilli flakes as per heat preference
  • 4 - 5 saffron threads optional, but recommended
  • Salt to taste


  • Rinse the rice a few times until the water run clear. Drain as much of the water as possible, cover the rice with 3½ cups of water and let soak for 15 minutes or while you prepare the vegetables.
  • Place the tamarind paste (if it contains seeds) in some warm water. Let it soak until softened. Then mash the paste in the water to remove the seeds. Set the tamarind juice aside.
  • Wash, peel (if necessary) and cut the vegetables. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, dice the potato and carrot. Slice the onion, finely chop/mince the garlic and ginger.
  • In a thick bottom pan or pot (I like to use a thick bottom wok) on medium heat, add 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil. Add the onions, garlic and ginger. Sizzle for about 2 minutes until onions are a little translucent. Add the whole cumin. Roast for about 20 seconds then add the ground spices (cumin, garam masala, nutmeg and cinnamon), cloves and juniper berries. Roast for about 30 seconds. Add a little water if required. Then add the tamarind juice (or tomato puree).
  • Simmer and let the tamarind juice reduce. Add the chilli and bay leaves.
  • Add all the vegetables. Stir and saute for about 5 minutes. Add a little salt and stir.
  • Next add in the rice along with all the water that it has been soaking in. Add the whole cardamoms, saffron threads and chopped coriander leaves. Stir and mix the rice with the vegetables. Add a little more salt to taste.
  • Cover and simmer on low-medium heat for 15 minutes. (7 minutes if using an instant pot or pressure cooker). Then turn off the heat and let the pan stand covered for another 5 minutes.
  • Uncover and fluff the rice. Garnish with fresh coriander or mint leaves. Serve hot accompanied with assorted pickles, cucumber raita or salad and coriander chutney.
  • This pulao keeps well in the fridge and is even tastier the next day. To reheat, just add a little water in the pan, cover and heat on medium-low temperature until steamy. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.



Homemade Minced Ginger-Garlic Paste -
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