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.
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.
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)
2. Add 1½ tablespoon oil and mix everything well. Set this aside as we are not cooking it with rice.
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.
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.
5. Add 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes off.
6. Add half cup peas and half cup carrots. Saute for a minute.
7. Add 4 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and 12 to 15 chopped pudina/mint leaves. Fry until the leaves smell good.
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.
9. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add drained rice.
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.
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.
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.
Top paneer pulao with crisp fried paneer. In the lunch box, I pack the pulao and paneer separately.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1½ cups basmati rice
- 2½ 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
- 1 small bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 to 4 green cardamoms
- 6 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1 small star anise (biryani flower)
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)
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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.
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