Pulao Recipes to the Rescue When There's No Time to Cook

Can't decide what to cook? Don't have time? Turn to pulao recipes!

Also known as pilaf or pilau, Pulao is a simple one-pot meal with a mysterious past. Opinions differ about its origin. Some studies indicate that pulao is of Persian origin. Others suggest that the pilaf may have originated in ancient India only to travel to South Asia and the Middle East before becoming an integral part of the local cuisines.

While the jury is still out on its origin, there's no doubt that pulao is a well-loved dish. Apart from Indian cuisine, variations of pulao exist in Balkan, Middle Eastern, Eastern Europe, South Caucasian, Central and South Asian, East African, Latin American and Caribbean cuisines! It could be the simplicity of this one-pot rice meal that garnered such a fan following. After all, when you're hungry, all the fanfare can go out the window and just a simple, filling meal will do.

The base spices in the pulao recipe and cooking method remain the same but there are several variations in the type of gravy, vegetables and meat used. Whether you are vegetarian or non-vegetarian, here are some of the best pulao recipes from LF chefs. And don't forget, no matter which type of pulao catches your fancy, it's always best enjoyed with a generous serving of raita.

Vegetarian Pulao Recipes
Veg Pulao Recipe
You can make your version of the veg pulao recipe with your choice of veggies. In this pulao recipe, Chef Vaibhav Mahajan adds yellow and red bell peppers, cauliflower florets and carrots. You can also add French beans and green peas. Watch the Hindi recipe video for the simple instructions to make this dish.
Click here for the ingredients details and step-by-step recipe.

Fava Beans Pulao Recipe
In another variation of veg pulao, this pulao recipe adds fava beans in addition to the usual carrots, cauliflower florets and green peas that make an appearance in veg pulao. It's a quick and easy meal to make when you don't have too much time.

Kashmiri Pulao Recipe
This vegetarian Kashmiri pulao recipe is rich with spices and dry fruits. The rice is cooked with a mix of spices like fennel seeds powder, bay leaf, cumin seeds, black cardamom, cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves and ginger powder to bring out the melange of flavours. Saffron milk and rose water are added too. It is then topped with lightly-fried cashews, walnuts, almonds and raisins.

Coconut Pulao Recipe
Chef Gautam Mehrishi prepares a truly exotic pulao with coconut milk and cashews. The chef cooks cloves (he recommends using them whole instead of the powder for better flavour), green cardamom, cinnamon and cashews in ghee, then adds rice, coconut milk, lemongrass and green chillies. He prepares a side dish to serve with the pulao by grinding cinnamon sticks, cloves, green cardamom and cashews to make powdered masala. To this, he adds ghee, lemon juice and coconut milk.

Val nu Pulao Recipe
Chef Vaibhav Mahajan makes pulao in Gujarati style. Instead of vegetables, this pulao recipe includes val sprouts. The chef garnishes the simple but healthy dish with coriander leaves and grated coconut. Follow the chef's simple instructions in this Hindi recipe video.

Modhur Pulao Recipe
Chef Ajay Chopra introduces us to this sweet pulao from Kashmir which is not had as dessert but as the main course. He begins by cooking a variety of fragrant spices in ghee along with sugar and saffron. To this, the chef adds an assortment of dried nuts which includes almonds, cashews and dates, and milk. Once the milk comes to a boil, he adds the rice.

Pizza Pulao Recipe
Introduce Italian flavours to your pulao with this pizza pulao recipe. Begin by making a gravy. Take some olive oil, add chopped garlic and onions, tomato ketchup, oregano, red chilli powder and chilli flakes. Next, sauté some bell peppers and boiled corn kernels and add them to the gravy. Finally, add rice and mix well. Follow the simple instructions in this recipe video to make this easy recipe whenever hunger strikes.


Semiyaan Pulao Recipe
If you're off rice, you can make pulao with semiyaan or vermicelli. For this pulao recipe, Chef Ranveer Brar heats oil and adds cumin seeds, chopped onions, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, red chilli powder and ginger paste. Once this is cooked, he adds chopped green tomatoes, vermicelli and a mix of vegetables like cauliflower florets, carrots, green peas and French beans. Garnish with mint and coriander leaves.

Also Read: Do you think pulao and biryani are one and the same thing? After all, it's just a one-pot meal of rice cooked with gravy, right? Wrong. Click here to find out the difference between biryani and pulao.

Non-Vegetarian Pulao Recipes
Chicken Pulao Recipe
When you're hungry, craving chicken and don't have too much time, the chicken pulao recipe is your best bet. Check out this quick and easy chicken pulao recipe to make the chicken dish at home.

Keema Pulao Recipe
For this non-vegetarian pulao recipe, Chef Ajay Chopra first prepares the gravy. He heats oil and adds black peppercorns, bay leaves, cloves, green cardamom, mace, black cardamom and cinnamon. This is followed by chopped onions, garlic, green chillies and tomatoes. Then red chilli powder and coriander powder. Minced meat and chopped potatoes are added and allowed to cook in the gravy. Finally, rice is added and cooked for 10 to 15 minutes.

Yakhni Pulao Recipe
This mutton pulao recipe is Kashmir's version of pulao. Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, green and black cardamom, and black peppercorns are wrapped in a cloth and left in a covered pan with mutton pieces, bay leaf, chopped onions, garlic and ginger. This cooking technique brings out the flavours in the meat beautifully. Follow the simple instructions in this Hindi recipe video to make this pulao recipe at home.

Gosht Korma Pulao Recipe
Chef Vaibhav Mahajan shows you a quick and easy way to make this delightful pulao recipe. To make the gosht korma, the chef adds bay leaves and cumin seeds to hot oil. He then adds tender pieces of mutton, ginger-garlic paste, brown onion paste, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Chef Mahajan adds yoghurt to make the dish rich and light. The meat is allowed to cook slowly in this gravy before adding par-boiled rice.

Chop Pulao Recipe
Zarine Khan shares her special chop pulao recipe. She begins by cooking mutton chops with cinnamon, cloves, green cardamom, black peppercorns and ginger-garlic paste in some water. In a separate pan, she cooks chopped onions in butter with green chutney. To this, she adds the chops once they are done, soaked rice, mutton stock and baby potatoes. Don't forget to garnish with some fresh mint leaves.

Prawns Pulao Recipe
For fans of seafood, Zarine Khan shares her prawn pulao recipe. Make the gravy by cooking green cardamom, cinnamon and cloves in oil, add chopped onions, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, dhania powder and chopped tomatoes. Once the gravy is cooked, she adds the prawns, chopped coriander and green chillies. She then layers the prawn gravy and rice one after the other. Follow the steps in this recipe video.

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