DInner Plates · Main Course

Indian Vegetable Cooker Pulao/ Biryani (Rice)





Rice – one of the most consumed cereals worldwide, is available in many varieties like white, red, brown, wild etc. Also, there are multiple types for example long grain, short grain etc. Long grains tend to remain intact even after cooking. Usually eaten as plain steamed rice or cooked with vegetables (or chicken, mutton, beef etc) like this very own recipe I am sharing, Pulao or a Hydrabadi version called Biryani (gosh! I Love Biryani, why did I take its name!).

Anyways, back to the point, the short grain rice is generally used for khichdi (a savoury Indian preparation made with rice and lentils) and in desserts like rice pudding, risotto etc. Also a sticky version of the same is used for making sushi, because it helps it in sticking together, maintaining the form and folding.

At my home, we all love vegetable cooker rice called “Pulao” esp in Northern India. With the raw spices cooked in ghee (clarified butter) and so many vegetables, it becomes irresistible. We usually serve it with homemade mango pickle and papad.

Uff.. I am already drooling…!

Papad is a thin, crisp disc-shaped food typically based on seasoned dough usually made from peeled black gram flour, as our very own Wikipedia describes it! 😉


Servings: 4      Preparation time: ½ hr      Cooking time: 10mins


1 ½ cup Basmati rice (I used a brand called Dawat, superfine) – washed and soaked in water for 20mins

1 cup sliced onions

½ cup chopped tomatoes

½ cup sliced potatoes

½ cup sliced carrots (shown in picture)

½ cup peas

1 chopped green chilli

1 tsp chopped ginger

(Definitely, you can add cauliflower, beans, corns and many such vegetables to add to it!. I added what I had at the moment.)

3  tbsp ghee (clarified butter) – you can use normal butter as well, if you don’t have ghee

½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)

½ tsp garam masala

1 tsp salt

1 whole lemon juice

600ml drinking water

Whole Spices:

½ tsp asafetida (hing)

1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1 bay leaf (tej patta)

1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)

3-4 cloves (laung)

3-4 black pepper (kali mirch)

What to do:

  1. Place a min. 5 liters cooker on gas with high flame and add ghee to it. As the ghee heats up (which will in a minute) add all the whole spices mentioned above one by one and stir.
  2. Reduce the flame to medium and keep a note that the spices should not burn.
  3. Add onions and stir fry till translucent.
  4. Add potatoes, carrots, peas and all other vegetables you want to add. Add stir fry for 5 mins on medium flame.
  5. Add salt, turmeric powder, garam masala and mix well.
  6. We don’t have to cook the vegetables completely. They will be cooked with the rice as we give it a pressure in a cooker.
  7. Drain the water out of the soaked rice and add the same to the cooker. Now, add the water to the cooker. I added approx. 2 glasses of water (600ml). The best measurement for the water as per your rice quantity and size of cooker would be that the water should be 1/3rd of your finger above the rice. I hope this does not confuse you. This is how my mom taught me. 🙂
  8. Do not stir as this can break the rice grains and we want whole LONG beautiful rice grains when done! 😉 Just hold the cooker and shake a little, this will do. Squeeze the juice of one full lemon into it. This adds to the flavor. This is not compulsory, add if you like.
  9. That’s it. Close the lid of the cooker and the keep the flame high. 1 whistle and simmer immediately. 2-3 mins on sim and turn off the gas.
  10. Let the steam take its time to come out, be patient. I know, I hate this waiting time too. When done, you can instantly serve hot Biryani cooker rice with papad and pickle or curd.
  11. Enjoy! 😉 😉


Tip: Better the quality of Basmati rice grain (longer and fine) you use, less water it will consume to cook. Soaking it in water for 20mins before reduces the cooking time and also saves the fuel 🙂

Another taste enhancer apart from lemon is adding half a teaspoon of homemade mango pickle masala in place of lemon juice. Try it and let me know! 🙂

Have a happy long weekend guys !


12 thoughts on “Indian Vegetable Cooker Pulao/ Biryani (Rice)

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