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Pulao - Indian Rice Pilaf
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4.50 from 6 votes

Pulao (Indian Rice Pilaf)

A rich pilaf made with Indian spices, cashews, and garlic.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: basmati rice
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 240kcal


  • 1.5 cups dry basmati rice
  • .5 cup peas
  • .5 cup carrots chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower chopped
  • 1 onion medium, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • .5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cashews about 10, optional
  • 3 cups water


  • Rinse the rice, soak for 30 minutes.
  • Make a "vaghaar" by putting a little oil in a pan. While the oil is heating, put the cashews in. After the cashews toast a little, remove them and set them aside. Then add the cumin seeds. When they become toasty and fragrant, add onions and garlic.
  • Saute the onions and garlic until they start to soften. Then add the vegetables: peas, carrots and cauliflower.
  • When the vegetables begin to soften, add in the dry rice. Saute this for about 30 seconds to toast the rice.
  • Put all of this into a pot, add three cups of water, the toasted cashews, bay leaf, cloves, chili powder, turmeric and salt to taste and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and reduce the heat to low. Allow to cook for 12 minutes. Turn off heat. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Remove lid. Fluff with fork.


If you are short on time, skip the soaking. The rice will still turn out great.
Soaking the rice helps the grains bloom and give you the beautiful long grains that basmati rice is known for but this step is not essential for flavor.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1940IU | Vitamin C: 15.9mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1.3mg