Veg Pilaf or pulao as we Indians call it is an Indian household staple. This has numerous variations and is so adaptable based on what ingredients are readily available at home. It’s absolutely lovely during winters as there are so many fresh veggies available then like peas, cauliflowers, beans, carrots and more. It is made in several variations across various regions in India. Sharing this super simple and healthy recipe, will remember to make Kashmiri pulao on some other day and adding the recipe soon.

COOKING TIME: 15 minutes


  1. Basmati rice – 1 cup
  2. Boiled chickpeas – ¼ cup, optional
  3. Carrots – ½ cup, diced
  4. Green Peas – ½ cup
  5. Green Beans – ½ cup, diced
  6. Red Onion – 1 medium
  7. Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  8. Bay Leaves – 2
  9. Green Cardamom – 2
  10. Black Cardamom – 2
  11. Cloves – 4
  12. Black peppercorns – 4-5
  13. Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  14. Clarified butter/ghee – 2 tablespoons
  15. Cashews – 4-5, optional
  16. Salt – to taste


  1. Wash the basmati rice thoroughly in a bowl and keep them aside.
  2. Dice carrots and beans into small bite-size pieces.
  3. Dice an onion into thin and long slices.
  4. In a pressure cooker, add 2 tablespoons on ghee or clarified butter. You could add regular butter if ghee is not handy or olive oil if you wanted to make it lighter. But it would taste divine in ghee, and that’s the Indian in me speaking! J
  5. Allow the ghee to heat up and add a bay leaf, crushed green and black cardamom pods and allow the aromatic oils to release.
  6. Add cloves and black peppercorns and cashews diced into small pieces.
  7. Once the cashews turn slightly brown, add the cumin seeds.
  8. Once the seeds have crackled, add onions and allow them to turn light brown. Keep mixing thoroughly to avoid burning.
  9. Add carrots, beans and peas and mix well.
  10. Add boiled chickpeas if you have them handy. You could avoid adding them. I love to add them if I am having pilaf and curd only to add a protein element to the meal.
  11. Add salt and mix well.
  12. Add lemon juice followed by soaked basmati rice.
  13. Add 1 cup of water and mix lightly so as not to break the rice grains. For basmati rice, I always maintain a 1:1 proportion. If you are adding heavier vegetables like potato, add a bit more water.
  14. Put on the lid and place on high flame till one whistle and turn it on low for a minute.
  15. Take it off the flame and allow the steam to release.
  16. There you have it, your wonderfully spiced and healthy pilaf gets ready in a jiffy!
  17. Serve hot with yoghurt.

I love to have with hung curd or a cucumber and curd raita/dip. How do you like to have yours?