Vegetable Pulao

4 servings


55 minutes

total time


1 cup basmati rice, thoroughly rinsed

2 tablespoons ghee, plus more for serving

1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick

1 black cardamom pod (or 2 green cardamom pods), see Tip

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 green chile, such as Thai bird’s eye or Serrano, slit in half lengthwise (optional)

1 medium russet potato, cut into small cubes

2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch sticks

1/2 cup frozen peas (no need to thaw)

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt (such as Morton)

Plain yogurt, for serving


Soak the basmati rice for 15 minutes in room temperature water, then drain well.

In a large (preferably deep) skillet over medium heat, melt the ghee. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, cumin and peppercorns and toast until fragrant and the cumin turns a slightly darker shade of brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Swirl in the turmeric and let it dissolve into the ghee.

Add the onion and chile and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the potato cubes, toss to coat them in the spices and spread in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until the potatoes are starting to soften and form a light golden crust on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes — do not let them cook all the way through, or they’ll be mushy in the finished dish.

Add the drained rice and carrots, toss everything with the spices and cook 1 minute.

Stir in the peas, salt and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Cover the pulao and cook for 15 minutes, then turn the heat off and let rest, still covered, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the water should be fully absorbed and the grains fluffy and light yellow. If not, put the pulao back over low heat, and let it cook for a few more minutes, covered.

Divide the pulao among bowls and, if desired, top each with a dollop of yogurt and a small spoonful of ghee.


Serving Size




Total Fat

8 g

Saturated Fat

4 g

Unsaturated Fat

3 g

Trans Fat

0 g




442 mg

Total Carbohydrate

56 g

Dietary Fiber

4 g

Total Sugars

4 g


7 g

4 servings


55 minutes

total time
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