Vegetable Pilaf or Pulao or Pulav as it is sometimes called is an Indian style fragrant rice dish that is a delicious,super healthy, and super quick one-pot meal. The name pulao has been derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Pulaaka’ meaning ‘ball of rice’.Pulao or Pilaf or Pulav or Pilav seems to be prevalent among many countries, indifferent versions though. The Spanish added seafood and saffron to it andcalled it Paella, the Turks called it Pilav, and theItalians called it Risotto.
2 tbspGhee or (1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil) or (2 tablespoons oil for vegans). For best results use ghee.
1tspnblack peppercorn, whole
1/2 tspncumin seeds
1mediumonion, sliced thin
1/2cup carrots, diced (fresh or frozen)
1/2cupgreen beans, cut into 1-inch size (fresh or frozen)
1/2cupfrozen green peas
2cupsbasmati or any other long-grain rice
1tspnSalt to taste
2cupswater for cooking
Step 1: Soak Rice:Rinse your rice about 3 to 4 times or until water runs clear. Soak rice in just enough water to cover it forat least 20 to 30 minutes. Keep it aside.Step 2: Prep the Vegetables:In the meanwhile, while the riceis soaking prep the vegetables. If you are using frozen vegetables just skip this step. In case you are using fresh vegetables, just cut them up to 1-inch size. Step2: Prep Instant pot and saute dry spices: Plugin the Instant Pot and remove the lid. Place the steel insert/ inner pot inside the IP. Select Sauté/Browning on your Instant Pot/ Pressure Cooker and adjust to the highest setting. Allow the cooking pot to fully heat. Once the screen displays HOT, add ghee (or butter and oil or just oil if you are vegan).Once the ghee/ butter melts add cinnamon stick then add, bay leaf, star anise, peppercorns, and cumin seeds. Sauté everything for 1 minute.Step3: Saute Onions: Now add sliced onions and sauté them for about 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt for the onions to sweat and cook faster and evenly. Cook until they are translucent and not brown. Just to speed up the process, cover the IP with a glass lid and let onions cook and soften. Once the onions are translucent and softened the onion base for the pulao is ready. From this point, you can either add vegetables and make it a vegetable pilaf, which is what we are going to make here or you could add chicken to make chicken pilaf or shrimp to make shrimp Pulao and so forth. The choice is yours and it is upto your imagination.Step 4: Add the Vegetables: Now add vegetables. Add carrots, green beans, and cauliflower, green peas, and just combine. Season with salt. Step 5: Add rice and sauté:Drain all the water from the soaked rice and add it to the vegetables and sauté for 5 seconds so that each grain of rice is coated well with the spices Step 6: Add Waterand cook: Generally, on a stovetop,the ratio for rice and water is typically 1:2 (we all know that) but because weare cooking under pressure in the Instant Pot the ratio changes to 1:1. Why? Two reasons:1 Because there is no place for moisture to evaporate right?. It absorbs all the liquid that isthere in the container as against stovetop, hence we use less water in the pressure cooker.2. The vegetableshave some moisture in them that adds to the liquid.So now add 2 cups of water to the 2 cups of sautéed rice and vegetables. Combine everything and SWITCH OFFTHE SAUTE MODE. Please DO NOT ADD MORE WATER. It will make your rice mushy.Step7: Set the Instant pot/ Pressure Cooker:Place the lid on the InstantPot and lock it, switch the “Steam release handle” to Sealing/Close/ No venting position. Press the PRESSURE COOK/ MANUAL MODE and set it to 2 MINUTES on HIGH PRESSURE (Use the “+ or -” key to select 2 minutes of cooking time). Once you select the time, wait till it says “ON” on the screen. It will take about 8 minutes for IP to come to pressure. The pressure will build and once the pressure builds, the timer will start counting down from 2 minutes to 0 minutes. Once the timer reaches 0, the Instant Pot will automatically switch to“Keep Warm”. Do Natural Pressure Release ((NPR). As soon as the safetypin drops down, open the Lid. Let it sit uncovered for about 5 minutes. Take a fork and fluff up the pilaf to separate the rice grains gently. Step 8: Garnish and serve: Garnish with cilantro and serve hot along with some yogurt raita or pickle or some mint chutney. Enjoy! This is quite a wholesome meal by itself but if you wantto add another side dish to it More Pilaf’s based on this: Chicken pilaf, shrimp pilaf, fish pilaf, Tofu pilaf, Paneer Pilaf.
Where to find Ingredients:
An Indian grocery store will most definitely have all these ingredients but most of the ingredients that I have mentioned in this recipe are easily available in any grocery store.
Star anise and Basmati rice are the only two ingredients that you may or may not find easily. If you don’t find star anise just skip it, try clove or whole spice instead. Plus instead of basmati rice use another long-grain rice.
This dish calls for basmati rice, some of the good brands are Tilda, Kohinoor, Dawat, and India Gate. You can easily find them online but in case you can't find it, just use any long grain rice. Except don’t use Jasmine rice or sticky rice any rice that is too starchy as the water: rice ratio differs for them.
Drink Pairing: Any dry white Wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Sémillon wines are especially good and go well with this pilaf.A Mango lassi or Lemonade would also work great if you are looking for beverages without alcohol.
Instant Pot Vegetable Pulao or Pilaf Recipe July 6, 2020