paneer pulao

Paneer pulao recipe (Paneer rice)

By Swasthi on August 28, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Paneer pulao recipe – Easy and healthy Paneer pulao that goes good in lunch box or as a quick dinner on busy nights. I have tried paneer pulao in so many ways in the past few years, finally loved this way of making. Paneer smells very aromatic and almost is like paneer tikka.

paneer pulao

This is often prepared at home as it is easy to make and tastes delicious. It can be accompanied with a simple vegetable salad or a Raita like cucumber raita or onion raita.

I have made this almost the same way i make veg pulao recipe, except a different way of preparing paneer to make it flavorful. Paneer tastes bland when used in some recipes especially in pulao unless enough spices and coriander / mint leaves are used.

Paneer when cooked with a good amount of spices acquires a great aroma and taste. To make this pulao, paneer is not cooked along with the rice, hence remains soft and is flavorful too.

To make a balanced meal, i like to add some veggies. Carrots, beans, peas, mushrooms go well.

For more Pulao recipes, you can check
Tawa pulao
Jeera rice or pulao
Matar pulao
Carrot pulao

You may also like to check these Paneer recipes

Preparation for paneer pulao

1. Rinse 1½ cups cubed paneer to make it moist or sprinkle 1 tbsp of water. Drain off water completely. Add 

  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon besan (gram flour)
  • ¾ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ tsp kasuri methi (for a good aroma)
spice powders for paneer pulao recipe

2. Add 1½ tablespoon oil and mix everything well. Set this aside as we are not cooking it with rice.

marination for paneer pulao recipe

How to make paneer pulao recipe

3. Heat a pan with 2 tablespoons ghee or oil. Add

  • 6 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 to 4 cardamoms
  • ½ teaspoon jeera or shahi jeera
  • 1 star anise. I also add a bit of mace.
dry spices for paneer pulao recipe

4. When they begin to splutter, add 1 medium sliced onions and 1 slit green chili. Fry until golden or transparent. If you like to make your pulao look dark color, fry onions till they turn deep golden.

addition of onions for paneer pulao recipe

5. Add 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes off.

ginger garlic paste for paneer pulao recipe

6. Add half cup peas and half cup carrots. Saute for a minute.

veggies for paneer pulao recipe

7. Add 4 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and 12 to 15 chopped pudina/mint leaves. Fry until the leaves smell good.

coriander mint for making paneer pulao for kids

8. Pour 2½ cups water if pressure cooking or 3 cups if cooking in a pot. Then add ½ teaspoon salt. Stir and check if there is enough salt. Water must taste slightly salty.

addition of salt water in paneer pulao recipe

9. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add drained rice.

addition of rice in paneer pulao recipe

10. If making in a pot, cook covered on a low flame. If making in a pressure cooker, cook on a medium flame until the cooker whistles once.

cooking rice for paneer pulao recipe

Frying paneer for pulao

11. While the pulao cooks, heat a non-stick pan. Fry paneer in the pan till golden and crisp. Paneer begins to smell very good. Do not over cook as they tend to turn hard. Once done transfer to a plate immediately. We don’t need to add oil as we added to the marinade. But if you see it becoming too dry then add a bit.

frying marinade for paneer pulao recipe by swasthis recipes

12. When the pressure releases naturally, open the lid and fluff up with a fork. Let the rice cool down a bit and transfer to serving plates.

fluffed and garnished paneer pulao

Top paneer pulao with crisp fried paneer. In the lunch box, I pack the pulao and paneer separately.

paneer pulao

Related Recipes

paneer pulao

Paneer pulao recipe | Paneer rice

Paneer pulao is a delicious one pot rice pilaf made with spices and veggies, topped with crisp pan fried paneer. Make this delicious dish for a quick dinner.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • cups basmati rice
  • cups water for pressure cooker (3 cups for pot)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee as needed
  • 1 large onion sliced thin
  • 1 to 2 green chilies (skip for kids)
  • ½ cup green peas
  • ½ cup carrots
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves fine chopped
  • 12 to 15 mint leaves fine chopped

Whole spices

  • 1 small bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 to 4 green cardamoms
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 small star anise (biryani flower)

for paneer marination

  • cup paneer cubes
  • tablespoon oil
  • ¾ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • salt as needed
  • 1 tablespoon gram flour
  • ¼ to ½ kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)


Making paneer pulao

  • Add all the marination ingredients including 1½ tablespoon oil to paneer. Mix and set aside. If it is too dry, sprinkle 1 tbsp water.
  • Heat oil or ghee in a pot or cooker. Then add all the whole spices.
  • When they begin to sizzle, add sliced onions & fry them until golden.
  • Next saute ginger garlic paste till the raw smell goes off.
  • Add all the chopped veggies and saute for 2 minutes. Add coriander and mint leaves. Fry until you begin to smell them good.
  • Pour water and salt. Stir and taste it. Bring it to a boil.
  • Add soaked and drained rice and pressure cook for 1 whistle on a medium flame. If cooking in a pot, cover and cook on a low flame until the rice is done.

Frying paneer for pulao

  • Meanwhile, heat a non-stick pan and place the marinated paneer cubes. Fry them until golden. If the pan looks too dry then add some oil.
  • When the pressure releases naturally, open the lid and fluff up. Remove to a serving plate and top the fried paneer.
  • Serve paneer pulao with a raita or a salad.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Paneer pulao recipe | Paneer rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 946 Calories from Fat 423
% Daily Value*
Fat 47g72%
Saturated Fat 18g113%
Cholesterol 74mg25%
Sodium 546mg24%
Potassium 1253mg36%
Carbohydrates 102g34%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 5122IU102%
Vitamin C 130mg158%
Calcium 854mg85%
Iron 11mg61%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Paneer pulao recipe (Paneer rice)

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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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How can I cook this using instant pot?

5 stars
I am making this recipe often, thanks for sharing ?

5 stars
Awesome recipes

5 stars
Thank You Swathi’s recipe. Tried Paneer pulao today at home for lunch from the recipe shared in this URL, it’s yummy. Quite delicious and easy to make. Would keep following your recipes.

5 stars
Very delicious.And the star of this recipe is the marinated.. Fried paneer. Too good. Thank u swasthi for sharing such a beautiful recipe.

5 stars
My husband and I just love this recipe…this the first dish we made together..thank you

5 stars
Very good

5 stars
I tried this recipe and it came out really good. Thanks for the tasty recipes 🙂

Very delicious recipe I love panoramic poolaove

Aap se anurodh h k apni koi Bhi recipe Hindi m Bhi diya kare ,

Aaj bnaya maine paneer pulao its yummy..shahi paneer recipe ekdum perfect n very very easy tasty delicius….thnks swasthi…..god bless u

so very delicious and inviting pulao .. a perfect mess free lunch box dish 🙂

delicious this looks, how I wish I got that banana leaf shaped platter with that pulao n raita right away

pulao looks delicious 🙂

Paneer Pulao Looks Yum!!!!!!