[Nutrient-Packed] Vegetable Pulao Recipe South Indian Style

vegetable pulao recipe south indian style

[Nutrient-Packed] Vegetable Pulao Recipe South Indian Style

This vegetable pulao recipe south Indian style, is a lip-smacking spicy rice dish. They are prepared by cooking rice with several spices, vegetables, and herbs that give it a mild aromatic taste. 

This south indian vegetable pulao recipe is fluffy and light, deliciously tasty, and never sticky, plus it is super easy to prepare.  This vegetarian dish is great on its own or paired with pickle, chicken curry, raita, or Thai shrimp curry.

What Is Pulao?

In the heart of India, veg pulao recipe south indian style stands out as a fragrant rice dish, a staple in many households, including mine. This Indian-style culinary delight is skillfully cooked with a medley of spices and vegetables, offering an array of flavors.

My personal favorites are Peas Pulao, Beetroot Pulao, and the rich Coconut Milk Pulao, each bringing a unique twist to the table. Serving these with raita, pickle, and papad not only enhances the taste but also encapsulates the diversity of Indian cuisine.

Every bite of pulao, whether it’s the greens-packed Palak Pulao or the aromatic Methi Pulao, is a journey through the rich tapestry of flavors that India has to offer, making it a versatile dish to eat and relish.

What Is The Difference Between Pulao And Biryani?

The main distinction lies in the cooking technique. South indian pulao recipe is a medley where rice, vegetables, or meat are cooked together in a harmonious mixture of spices.

In contrast, Biryani involves cooking these elements separately and then assembling them in layers, often resulting in a richer flavor, enhanced by ghee and fried onions.

How To Prepare Pulao South Indian Style?


  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 medium finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ¼ cup carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons French beans, finely chopped
  • 1 small finely chopped tomato
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 small piece of Bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste


  1. Rinse rice and soak in water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside until required.
  2. Heat oil and ghee together in a pressure cooker on low heat. Add cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add onion and fry it for 2 minutes until light brown.
  3. Stir in green peas, chopped tomatoes, carrot, and French beans, and stir-fry them for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add drained rice, red chili, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt, and cook south indian pulao rice recipe for 2 minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup water and combine well.
  6. Cover with cooker lid and cook over medium heat for 2 whistles. Reduce the heat to low, when the first whistle is completed, and cook until the second whistle. Remove the cooker from the stove.
  7. Let spicy vegetable rice cool at room temperature until the pressure inside the cooker reduces naturally. Open the cover carefully and ruffle the mix vegetable Indian pulao recipe with a spoon.
  8. Transfer vegetable pulao recipe south indian style to a serving dish or bowl, garnish with coriander leaves and serve with raita.

south indian vegetable pulao recipe

Why This Vegetable Rice South Indian Style Recipe Works?

This vegetable pulao recipe south Indian style uniquely blends a combination of vegetables, herbs, and spices with rice, delivering a flavor-rich bite. It’s a complete meal that contributes to a balanced diet, packed with nutrients and minerals.

Highly customizable to match individual taste and preference, this recipe can be mixed and matched for various occasions, from a daily lunch box to a festival feast or celebration.

Universally liked, it appeals across kids, adults, and old-aged groups, making it a versatile choice. Whether flavored like traditional south Indian veg pulao or as a twist to biriyani, it’s a dish that never disappoints.

What To Serve With Vegetable South Indian Pulav?

Serving healthy vegetable pulao, especially when prepared in a South Indian style, can be a delightful experience with the right accompaniments. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Raita: A classic Indian side made from yogurt mixed with vegetables, fruits, or spices. Cucumber raita or boondi raita would be refreshing.
  2. Papadums: These are crispy Indian crackers, often served as a side dish. They add a nice crunch to the meal.
  3. Salad: A simple salad with fresh vegetables like cucumber, tomato, and onion with a sprinkle of lemon juice and salt can be a healthy addition.
  4. Pickle: Indian pickles, known as achar, made from various fruits and vegetables like mango, lime, or mixed vegetables, add a tangy flavor.
  5. Curry: A light vegetable or lentil curry, such as dal or sambar, complements the pulao south indian style well, especially for those who prefer a saucy side.
  6. Chutney: Coconut chutney or mint-coriander chutney can add a fresh and herby dimension to the meal.
  7. Fried Vegetables: Lightly fried vegetables like okra or eggplant can add texture and flavor.
  8. Dessert: A sweet dish, like payasam (a South Indian dessert made with milk, rice, and sugar) or a fruit salad, can be a pleasant end to the meal.

These sides not only complement the flavors of the veg pulao south Indian style but also provide a balanced and diverse meal experience.

Chef Pro Tips

  • Simple and Easy: Keep the veg rice recipes south Indian straightforward with these mandatory tips.
  • Rice Selection: Choose nonsticky textures like basmati rice or sona masuri for perfect texture.
  • Combination of Vegetables: Be open-ended in your selection; a basic yet balancing variety works best.
  • Vegetable Stock or Water: Using vegetable stock instead of water can immensely boost the taste and flavor.
  • Water to Rice Ratio: Follow the ideal ratio and give a resting period after the rice is cooked to let it dry out and flavors be absorbed.
  • Accompaniments: Enhance your meal with cooling raita, a crisp salad, salan, or a spicy gravy or curry.
  • Next Day Flavor: The pulao often tastes better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld.

Always keep these handy and practical tips in mind, especially for south indian style pulao.

Variations For Vegetable Rice Recipe Indian

  • Vegetables of Choice: Experiment with capsicum, bell pepper, cabbage, or frozen vegetables for variety.
  • Vegan-Friendly: Replace ghee with oil to cater to vegans.
  • Peas Options: Use either fresh green peas or dry peas (soaked for a few hours) for a different taste.
  • Bread Croutons: Add at the end for an extra crunch and enhanced taste and texture in your vegetable rice Indian.

What Is The Proper Rice-To-Water Ratio For Vegetable Pulao Recipe South Indian Style?

Finding the proper rice-to-water ratio for pulao largely depends on the type and quality of rice you’re using. For most rice types, a 1 part rice to 2 parts water ratio serves as a good starting point.

However, some rice varieties may fare better with ratios like 1:1.5 or even 1:2.5. Factors that can affect the amount of water include the age of the rice; older rice might need to be soaked for longer and may require less water.

I suggest experimenting as you cook more often. Once you know your preferred brand of rice, you’ll be able to translate that understanding into your recipe.

This trial-and-error method ensures that each time you prepare south Indian vegetable pulao, it turns out just right, befitting the unique characteristics of the rice used.

how to prepare pulao south indian

Methods Of Cooking Pulao Recipe South Indian Style

Indian vegetable rice can be cooked in various ways, each method offering a unique touch to the final dish. Here are five popular methods:

  • Pan or Pot: The traditional pan or pot method is often detailed in a typical recipe post. It requires careful monitoring of the water amount to ensure the rice cooks perfectly.
  • Pressure Cooker: For a quicker version, a pressure cooker significantly reduces cooking time while retaining the flavors.
  • Instant Pot: The modern Instant Pot offers a hassle-free cooking experience with precise control over the cooking process.
  • Electric Cooker: An electric cooker is ideal for those seeking an effortless and consistent cooking method for Indian vegetable rice recipe.
  • Microwave Oven: Using a microwave oven is less conventional but can be a quick alternative for cooking vegetable pulao south Indian style.

Each of these methods requires adjusting the amount of water used. For example, cooking in a pan might require more water compared to a pressure cooker, where less water is often sufficient.

The key is to adjust the water ratio according to the cooking method to achieve the desired texture in your pulao.

FAQs For Vegetable Pulao Recipe

1. What Vegetables Can I Use For Veg Pulao?

For veg pulav recipe, your choice of vegetables is wonderfully open-ended. Staples like beans, carrots, potatoes, and capsicum work well, along with mushrooms and corn kernels. To maintain a balance, remember to chop them evenly for uniform cooking.

2. Can I Use Regular Rice Instead Of Basmati Rice?

Yes, you can use regular rice instead of Basmati rice, though Basmati is recommended for its unique aroma and texture. Just remember to adjust the water to rice ratio and select your cooking method accordingly for the best results.

3. Is Pulao Rice Indian Spicy?

Veg pulao is typically a mild to medium-flavored rice recipe. The chili selection can be adjusted to suit individual taste and preference, allowing you to increase or decrease the spice level as desired.

4. What Should I Do If My Veggies Aren’t Cooked All The Way?

If your veggies aren’t fully cooked in the south indian rice recipes vegetarian, continue cooking for a few more minutes, adding a little water if needed to prevent drying out.

5. If I Make Veg Pulao In The Pressure Cooker, How Many Whistles Should I Wait For?

For healthy pulao recipe in a pressure cooker, wait for 2-3 whistles for al dente rice, or a few more for a softer texture.

6. Can I Make Veg Pulao In Advance?

Yes, you can prepare vegetable rice Indian recipe in advance. Store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days for optimal shelf life. To serve, simply reheat or re-steam as needed.

7. What Can I Serve With Vegetable Pulao Recipe South Indian Style?

Veg pulao can be served with various side accompaniments such as a fresh salad, cooling raita, a spicy gravy or salan, and a comforting dal curry to enhance its flavors.

8. How Do I Prevent The Rice From Turning Mushy?

To prevent your rice from turning mushy in pulao, avoid overcooking and use the correct amount of water. Maintaining the right water-to-rice ratio is crucial.

9. Can I Use A Rice Cooker To Make Veg Pulao?

Yes, you can use a rice cooker to prepare veg pulao, ensuring evenly cooked rice with minimal monitoring.

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