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Healthy Vegetable Pulao Recipe
An healthy twist to a regular Indian vegetable pulao recipe. This easy pulao is made with the goodness of wholegrains like brown rice, green gram, black gram and spinach. Healthy, vegan one pot meal.
Vegetable pulao recipe with raita
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Pulao is a traditional Indian dish made with aromatic spices and vegetables.

Some call it pilav, or veg pulav, or even pilao. Whatever you refer to this Indian rice pilaf dish, it is one of the most popular accompaniment to many Indian main dishes or in this case a one pot veg pulao main dish.

Ingredients For Healthy Vegetarian Pulav

The difference between this veg pulao recipe to the others in the type of grains used. This is the best pulao recipe to make when you have small portions of whole grains laying in the cupboards and are unsure of what to do with them.

This dish is a cross between khichdi and pulao which is what makes this a wholesome, healthy one pot dish .

Here is a rough idea on the main ingredients you will need to make wholegrain  Indian veg pilav at home. The amount is mentioned in the recipe card below:

FRESH AND PANTRY ITEMS

Wild Rice

Brown Rice

White Rice

Whole green gram

Whole black gram

Spinach – fresh or frozen

Tomatoes

Ginger

Garlic

Sugar

Vegetable stock or a stock cube dissolved in water

Salt to taste

Oil or ghee

SPICES USED

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp ( Read about benefits and uses of cumin seeds)

Cinnamon – 1 inch stick ( Read how to use cinnamon stick)

Turmeric powder – 1 tsp ( Read about benefits and uses of turmeric )

Red chilli powder – 1tsp (You can use Kashmiri chilli powder )

Cumin powder- 1 tsp ( Read about the use and benefits of cumin powder)

Green Cardamom  (Read about the uses and benefits of green cardamom)

Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp (Find out what is Garam masala powder)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS  

⇒  All the items listed in the recipe are not a must have. You can use or omit some of the whole grains and few spices if you do not have them.

You can add 1 star anise or black cardamom for added woody flavour if you have them.

SUBSTITUTE INGREDIENTS

Do not have some ingredients but still wish to make vegetarian pulao? No worries go for the substitute or skip a few ingredients.

Omit Ingredients – You no not need all the ingredients listed. Skip the following items if you do not have them or you can find suitable alternatives:

  • whole green/ black grams
  • wild rice/brown rice
  • green cardamom
  • garam masala

Substitute for whole green/black gram – Use split legumes such as split yellow lentils or green lentils.

Substitute for for brown rice –  Use a pack of mixed rice.

Substitute for spinach – Use any mixed veg of your choice . Frozen mixed veg also works.

Substitute for sugar – Use alternative natural sweetener or stevia or skip it.

How To Make Veg Pulao – Method with Images 

Below is the step by step method of making easy pulav recipe at home.

STEP 1 

Soak the legumes over night.

Soak wild rice and brown rice for 3 hours before cooking. (see cooking notes below)

STEP 2 

Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add whole spices, cardamom, cumin seeds, cinnamon to it.

whole spices in warm oil

STEP 3 

Next add the tomatoes and cook until pulpy.

Add tomatoes to spices

STEP 4 

Add the pulses and rice , spices, salt and sugar mix well.

Add wholegrains for vegetable pulao rice

STEP 5 

Add the stock/water and the spinach cover lid and cook on high for 10 minutes and low for another 20 minutes.

Add water and spinach to the rice

STEP 6 

Serve hot multigrain pulao rice with raita.

Vegetable pulao recipe with raita

Cooking Tips and FAQ’s

Below are some tips that will help to make this vegetable pulao recipe at home with ease.

  • Soak the legumes ( black and green grams) in water for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight for best results
  • Wash the rice and the whole grains in cold water until the water runs clear. This takes away the excess starch.
  • Temper the spices in warm oil for an aromatic pulau rice.
  • You can substitute the type of grains, legumes and lentils with any that you have. Read the substitute options above for ideas.
  • Add an extra cup of water if making this vegetable pulao recipe in a pot.

What type of rice is best to make mixed veg rice?

For making the best pulav rice I highly recommend using basmati rice. However you can use any type of white rice such as long grain or short grain rice as well.

How to reduce the cooking time of brown and wild rice?

Most wholegrains are tough and can take time to cook. 

One way to reduce brown rice cooking time is to soak the grains in water for a minimum of 2 hours to upto overnight. 

The grains will adsorb water and double in size as well as cook faster. 

You can also add 1/4 of making soda for faster soft boiled whole legumes. 

How is this an easy simple vegetable pulao recipe and yet healthy?

The mix of vegetables and rice in one pot make any type of veg pulav recipe that you wish to make healthy and easy.

A quick vegetable pulao is an ideal meal for the fatigue driven post surgery, pregnancy or feeling down days.

This particular recipe is healthier because it is made with a mix of whole legumes, less white rice and spinach.  Wholesome and delicious one of the best vegetable pulao recipes.

Can you eat vegetable pulao while on a weight loss diet?

This Indian pilaf rice recipe is low in carbs as there are more whole grains like legumes, brown rice and white rice. They keep you full for longer making this a good keto friendly pulao dish perfect for those on a weight loss diet.

What to eat with vegetable pulao?

Veg pulav is a one dish meal in itself. You can serve it with a plain simple raita or even spicy Indian pickle (achar) if you wish.

You can also serve it as an accompaniment to a main dish such as chicken curry, veg curry, daal or any Indian veg or non veg main.

When in doubt with what to cook that is wholesome, easy and healthy, especially for the kids, I resort to making different kinds of Pulao dishes and serve it with chicken nuggets 🙂

Can you make Pulao rice without the pressure cooker?

Yes, you can make pulao rice in a pot but  in doing so it is best to soak the legumes overnight as it may take longer to cook.

Use a tight lid and lower the heat down to minimum when cooking in a pot.

Also add one extra cup of water/stock to cook. Making veg pulao in Instant pot is also other option.

What is the difference between Pulao and Biriyani VS Khichdi

There are different types of Indian rice dishes. Some are made with meat, some with lentils and rice while few like this recipe is an Indian veg and rice dish.

Pulao as most of us who like Indian food know is a dish made with rice and sometimes includes other vegetables, cooked in a aromatic broth, covered and brought to a boil.

In India, there are mainly three kinds of rice dishes  Pulao, Biriyani and Khichidi.

Pulao is less complex, easy to make which can either be eaten as a side dish or a main depending on the ingredients used.  It is generally made with whole spices when compared to a biriyani.

Biriyani, is a more complex rice dish. It uses a two-way process of cooking the rice and the curry separately and then mixing them in layers. The spices can be complex and intense or easy and simple depending on the recipe.

Khichidi, on the other hand is a one dish meal made with rice and lentils with the least amount of spices and almost runny consistency.

If I were to go with a proper take on this recipe its more like a khichdi, which literally means a ‘mish-mash’ in Hindi, than a pulao.

I call the dish pulao, as it’s not as fluid and has spices not normally used in khichdi.

Other Quick Indian Vegan Recipes

20 Minutes Mushroom Spinach Pulao 

Spicy Garlic Potatoes and Dill 

Sweet And Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

vegetable pulao recipe pinterest image

Buy fresh Organic Spices Online

Do you find this recipe fuss-free?

I like easy, simple quick recipes that add flavour in just a pinch! Do you think this recipe ticked those boxes?

Or perhaps you have a rice recipe to share that your family loves. Would love to hear from you.

Recipe Card for

Healthy Vegetable Pulao Recipe

An healthy twist to a regular Indian vegetable pulao recipe. This easy pulao is made with the goodness of wholegrains like brown rice, green gram, black gram and spinach. Healthy, vegan one pot meal.
Vegetable pulao recipe with raita
Print Recipe Card
Preparation Time - 10 Minutes plus soaking time |  
Cooking Time - 45 minutes |  
Total Time to Cook - 55 minutes |  
Servings - 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Wild Rice
  • 1/4 cup Brown Rice
  • 1/2 cup White Rice (basmati or any kind)
  • 1/4 cup Whole green gram
  • 1/4 cup Whole black gram
  • 1/2 cup Spinach - fresh or frozen
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 6 pods garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 4.5 - 5 cups Vegetable stock or a stock cube dissolved in water
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 inch stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 3-4 green Cardamoms
  • 1 tsp garam masala Powder
  • 23 tsp oil or ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)

Instructions

SOAK THE GRAINS
  • Soak the legumes that is whole black gram, and whole green gram over night.
  • Soak wild rice and brown rice for 3 hours before cooking. (Read the cooking notes above)
MAKE THE PULAO
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add whole spices, cardamom, cumin seeds, cinnamon to it and fry until fragrant.
  • Next add the tomatoes and cook until pulpy.
  • Add the pulses and rice, garam masala powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and sugar mix well.
  • Add 4.5 to 5 cups of stock/water and the spinach mix well. Cover lid and cook on high for 10 minutes and low for another 20 minutes.
  • Serve hot multigrain pulao rice with raita.

Notes

  • Wash the rice and the whole grains in cold water until the water runs clear. This takes away the excess starch.
  • You can substitute the type of grains, legumes and lentils with any that you have. Read the substitute options above for ideas.
  • Add an extra cup of water if making this vegetable pulao recipe in a pot.
  • More tips on making this vegetable pulao recipe in the Cooking Tips and FAQ section above.

Tried this recipe?

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Simon Andrew
10 months ago

Thanks for sharing this recipe it’s really nice

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